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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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With the integration of the acquired Viptela software-defined widearea networking onto Cisco’s IOS XE software, Cisco is bringing SD-WAN to 1 million existing routers—and many more new devices to come. Key capabilities of the end-to-end platform include centralized management and visibility, optimized connectivity and automated workflows. Historically, WAN has been among the “worst offenders” in creating overhead complexity, said Greg Stemberger, technical director for the NextGen networking practice at Herndon, Va.-based Iron Bow Technologies. With Viptela offering “an intelligent software stack that simplifies and automates how you manage all of that— and at the same time delivering that on [Cisco’s] best-of-breed hardware—that’s a very compelling story. And we’re seeing a lot of interest,” Stemberger said.

Finalist: Big Switch Networks Big Cloud Fabric

Big Switch Networks recently enhanced its Big Cloud Fabric with the addition of support for VMware vSAN, Dell EMC ScaleIO and Nutanix hyper-convergence offerings—making major strides in visibility and simplicity for Big Switch’s software-defined networking switching fabric.

Finalist: HPE Aruba Software-Defined Branch

HPE Aruba’s Software-Defined Branch offering combines branch gateways and headend gateways with existing HPE Aruba technology—including ClearPass policy management software—to form an integrated SD-WAN, WLAN, LAN and security solution. Key benefits include the ability to simplify rules enforcement within the branch.

Finalist: Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect Updates

For the new generation of its Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN, Silver Peak has introduced powerful new capabilities including segmentation—enabling organizations to segment users, applications and wide-area network services into secure zones while also automating the steering of application traffic to meet security and regulatory policies.

Finalist: VMware NSX Updates

Recent updates to VMware NSX have included the introduction of NSX Cloud, which provides consistent networking and security for applications running in both private VMware-based data centers and natively in public clouds. Meanwhile, NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud provides assured application performance from the data center to the branch to the cloud with end-to-end segmentation.

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