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11 Networking Predictions for 2011

Who will Cisco buy next? Will telcos flood the channel? Will the WAN-op market get nasty? Have a look at our top predictions for the networking channel for 2011.

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The WAN-Op Wind-Up

The WAN optimization/WAN acceleration space is a curious animal: still considered a niche specialty by some, already overcrowded for others, but, now that cloud computing is the end-all, be-all choice for many of tomorrow's data center deployments, a wholly necessary investment. Riverbed Technology rules the roost here, and indeed, the company's showed no signs of slowing down, having recently made acquisitions and expanded into new markets like cloud storage, while pushing the idea that the WAN-op space has plenty of greenfield territory.

But Riverbed's major competitors -- Cisco, Blue Coat and Juniper -- as well as a host of emerging players like Certeon and Talari Networks, have no intention of being crowded out, especially now that many data center customers and data center solution providers who might have ignored WAN op technologies before are definitely ready for them now. Is WAN optimizaton/acceleration about to become as cutthroat a space as wireless or other, hotly contested networking sectors?

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