By Brent Whitfield, CEO of DCG Technical Solutions Inc.As the price of access to powerful IT networks continues to come down, the playing field is increasingly leveled. It is now possible for small and medium-sized businesses to steal a lead over established industry players by making the right choice when it comes to setting up their IT technology.
From providing a new way to virtualize infrastructure to supplying software to manage storage or control traffic flow, each of the eight vendors listed below have something unique to bring to the table.
Based in Burlington, Massachusetts, 128 Technology are specialists in software-based routing. By eliminating the need for hardware devices such as firewalls and load balancers, businesses can save on capex costs.
The 128T Networking Platform is designed for flexible deployment and includes a session-aware data plane alongside a highly distributed control plane enabling remote “zero-touch” provisioning, monitoring and analytics.
A10 Networks has expanded on and diversified from load balancing hardware to offer full Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) and a host of security-related services, including DDoS monitoring and management and analytics.
The A10 Thunder® ADC combines global load balancing with over a thousand partitions, SSL offloading (where the work of encryption and decryption is sent to a separate server), web and DNS protection, per-application analytics and API programmability for third-party management.
The Thunder TPS provides smart DDoS protection with a variety of deployment options. Intelligent automation speeds up response to an attack while cutting down on manual interventions.
Apstra is a pioneer in intent-based networking (IBN). This is a new paradigm in networking in which the entire network works to fulfill one single source of truth (the intent) regardless of changing situations and technologies. That intent is the automation of the complete network lifecycle (through its phases of design, build, deploy and validate).
Apstra’s operating system, AOS® acts on the management plane, forming a central hub through which multiple vendors’ products are connected as one system via their APIs. IBN automates the design and management of networking for complex multi-tenant data centers—at both new and existing sites.
Apstra recently secured a big coup by striking a deal with Yahoo! Japan.
Cisco continues to be a dominant force in the enterprise networking market, always predicting the next stage of networking evolution and creating products and services to fit. As such, they are heavily involved in IBN at the moment and have also recently teamed up with AWS to offer a solution for running containers on both the cloud and on-premises infrastructure. Cisco offer a wide range of services covering virtualization, routing, security, cloud management, switching, wireless technology, managed services and more.
Cisco Systems also includes Cisco Meraki, a company focused on cloud-managed services and products including enterprise mobile management (EMM), switching, wireless and security cameras.
Having gobbled up virtualization specialists VMWare in 2004, cloud integration experts Boomi in 2007 and storage experts EMC Corporation in 2016, Texas firm Dell appears to be going from strength to strength in the IT infrastructure market. They have moved a long way from their roots in devices and hardware and now focus heavily on AI, data management and networking. They have also set up an IoT division as they anticipate the growth of internet-connected devices.
Docker is the open-source software behind the containerization movement. Containers virtualize only the components of an operating system needed to run an application, using an image to specify their contents. Multiple containers can be run by a single kernel which saves businesses the time and expense of running full VM instances.
Docker Inc., the founder of the technology, has recently created a migration program to allow users of older versions of Windows Server to containerize applications which will soon become un-supported by Microsoft.
Veriflow Systems Inc.
Managing network vulnerabilities is one of the big challenges of enterprise networking on the cloud. Veriflow provide patented mathematical verification tools to help model and monitor networks to prevent policy breaches and outages. Veriflow also helps companies to become more secure via network segmentation and is actively involved in the IBN movement by delivering automated intent-based verification.
Versa Networks are the pure play SD-WAN provider behind the Versa Secure Cloud IP software platform used by Adobe, Verizon, Comcast and other big businesses. SD-WANs are increasingly preferred over MPLS based networks because business critical applications and workflows can be automatically prioritized using centrally defined policies without painstaking hardware configuration.
Versa has recently collaborated with Microsoft to provide secure connectivity for customers connecting their premises to its Azure Virtual WAN (vWAN).
This is just a small selection of the many vendors and infrastructure options out there but awareness of some of what’s on offer is a great place to start when discussing options with your provider of IT support – Los Angeles based businesses might consider DCG Ltd. for that privilege.
About the Author:
Brent Whitfield is the CEO of DCG Technical Solutions Inc. located in Los Angeles, CA since 1993. DCG provides IT Services for Los Angeles area businesses who need to remain competitive and productive, while being sensitive to limited IT budgets. Brent writes & blogs frequently and has been featured in Fast Company, CNBC, Network Computing, Reuters, and Yahoo Business. https://www.dcgla.com was recognized among the Top 10 Fastest Growing MSPs in North America by MSP Mentor. Because of Brent’s experience as an MSP, he is actively serving on partner advisory councils for many of the major MSP vendors providing backup, RMM, and software to the market. He also leads SMBTN – Los Angeles, a MSP peer group that focuses on continuing education for MSP’s and IT professionals. Twitter: @DCGCloud