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CRN's 2018 Products Of The Year

CRN editors looked at the best new products and major updates of 2018 and then turned to solution providers to choose the winners based on technology, revenue and profit opportunities, and customer demand.

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Following Cisco’s launch of its Network Intuitive platform last year—an intent-based networking system used in tandem with switches such as the Catalyst 9000 series—Cisco this year updated the Catalyst 9000 once again with a number of major advancements. Newly introduced capabilities include Cisco’s Network Assurance Engine and DNA Center Assurance, components of Cisco’s intent-based networking platform that promise predictive analytics and insight into customer networks. The capabilities enhance the Catalyst 9000 by allowing for “much more of a phased approach” toward intent-based networking, said Greg Stemberger, technical director for the NextGen networking practice at Herndon, Va.-based Iron Bow Technologies. Implementing the assurance capabilities “is becoming the first step to enabling this intelligent stack on top,” Stemberger said—which allows customers “to take advantage of the Catalyst 9000 but doesn’t dramatically change how they operate the network.”

Subcategory Winner—Revenue and Profit: Ruckus E510 

With the E510, Ruckus has developed an 802.11ac Wave 2 access point to target space-constrained and hard-to-reach areas with strong-performing Wi-Fi. The access point offers data rates of up to 867 Mbps along with a design that allows it to blend aesthetically into outdoor deployment sites.

Finalist: Aerohive 802.11ax Access Points 

As the first vendor to offer access points on the 802.11ax standard, Aerohive Networks has developed these access points to dramatically improve Wi-Fi efficiency. Enhancements such as new channel-sharing capabilities enable Aerohive’s 802.11ax access points to provide strong performance to a far greater density of users.

Finalist: HPE Aruba 8400 Core Switch Series Updates 

Following the groundbreaking launch of the HPE Aruba 8400 Core Switch Series last year, the company has brought significant updates including the addition of the IntroSpect UEBA (User and Entity Behavioral Analytics) offering—which integrates with Aruba ClearPass to enable policy-based attack response.

Finalist: Juniper EX4300 Multigigabit Ethernet Switch 

Along with strong performance, availability and security, Juniper Networks’ EX4300 Multigigabit Ethernet Switch provides key capabilities for branch location and campus deployments including centralized management in the cloud and hot-swappable components such as fans and power supplies.

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