Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, has dethroned Cisco for the first time ever in Gartner's 2017 Critical Capabilities for Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure report, which scores vendors on a variety of networking capabilities in multiple enterprise use cases.
In a clean sweep, Gartner gave HPE-Aruba the highest score in each of six network use cases. In the 2016 version of the report -- which featured five use cases, some of which changed from year to year -- HPE-Aruba placed first in only one category, with Cisco topping the other four.
"Aruba is the top-ranked vendor for all use cases," Gartner said in this year's report, which was published Nov. 3, citing Aruba's AirWave network management technology and ClearPass secure network access control technology as "some of the most complete solutions in the market."
Gartner pointed to the breadth of Cisco's portfolio of wired switching and WLAN products as the reason the vendor ranked in the top half of the scores in five of the six use cases, according to the report.
Overall, the market dynamics that come into play when wooing enterprise customers are shifting, Gartner said.
"Enterprises have moved beyond basic connectivity and now use network service applications and deployment flexibility to differentiate access networking vendors," according to the report.
Among HPE-Aruba's most significant victories is the Unified Wired and WLAN Access category, with a score of 4.04, followed by Cisco at 3.83. Gartner said this represents the first time in the four editions of this research that HPE-Aruba has scored higher than Cisco in that category.
In the same category in 2016, Cisco led with a score of 4.1, followed by HPE-Aruba at 4.08. The analyst firm noted that some of the definitions used in the research may have changed from one year to the next, affecting vendor scores
Raymond Tuchman, CEO of Experis Technology Group, a Potomac, Md., HPE partner, said HPE-Aruba's win in the Gartner Critical Capabilities report is just one more sign of the increasing momentum for Aruba's wireless and wired portfolio in accounts that were at one time Cisco-only.
"This is a huge deal for Aruba," said Tuchman. "This is the highest independent corporate IT market research firm saying HPE-Aruba has a better solution than Cisco in wired and wireless networking. This is important for customers to know. We're going to definitely cite it."