10 New Innovative Networking Products To Check Out Right Now

New In Networking

Innovation around networking software and hardware is ramping up. Vendors are striving to simplify networking through automation, along with a more software-defined approach to make life easier for businesses.

Longstanding industry leaders like Cisco, Juniper Networks, F5 Networks and Brocade Communications have launched a slew of new systems recently, including cloud-managed switches, software platforms and software-defined networking (SDN) products. Other vendors like Ixia and MetTel are also unveiling innovating products around network visibility, while Riverbed Technology made its official entrance into the SD-WAN market.

CRN takes a look at 10 of the hottest new software and hardware products that are making waves in the networking arena.

Riverbed Enters The SD-WAN Market

With Riverbed Technology's acquisition of software-defined networking specialist Ocedo in January, the San Francisco-based vendor rolled out its first product for the SD-WAN space: SteelConnect. The platform enables businesses to orchestrate application delivery across hybrid WANs, LANs and cloud networks such as Microsoft's Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The SD-WAN software has a fully integrated line of secure WAN gateways, remote LAN switches and Wi-Fi access points, all managed centrally through a cloud console with a user interface in order to dramatically simplify and streamline the process of designing, deploying and managing distributed networks, according to Riverbed.

Cisco's Meraki Phone System

The San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant Tuesday unveiled its cloud-managed communications system: the Meraki MC74. The MC74 phone system has a touch-screen display that is managed through the same single pane of glass as the rest of the Meraki networking infrastructure system.

The MC74 hardware is now available in the U.S. market with a list price of $599, with the options of either a one-, three- or five-year cloud license.

Brocade Workflow Composer

Brocade Communications' new Workflow Composer platform brings network automation to IT operations with the goal of increasing an organization's agility. The San Jose, Calif.-based networking and storage vendor says it's applying DevOps automation capabilities to the network, combining software lifecycle management with workflow automation across public and private clouds, containers and monitoring tools.

The turnkey system is set to launch in the third calendar quarter and be available as a premises-based server appliance.

Juniper Switches

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based networking vendor launched two new access switches for its EX Series to enable secure, simplified management for campus and branch networks. The EX2300, an entry-level switch, and EX3400, a mid-range switch, leverage Juniper's Unite for a cloud-enabled enterprise, which includes Junos Fusion Enterprise and Juniper's virtual chassis technology to streamline network provisioning through a single point of management.

The EX2300 is a 1 GbE fixed configuration access switch featuring 10 GbE uplinks to support increased bandwidth demand, while the EX3400 includes 10 GbE and 40 GbE uplinks.

Big Switch, Riverbed Team On Free Trial

Big Switch Networks and Riverbed Technology have deepened their technology partnership by coupling Big Switch's Big Monitoring Fabric – a network packet broker (NPB) – with Riverbed's SteelCentral NetExpress network performance management platform.

The companies are offering a free 90-day trial of the solution starting May 26 for network and security operations teams to test on-demand monitoring of traffic in the data center.

Corsa's New 10G/100G Network Hardware

Corsa Technology launched the DP2000 series switching and routing platform that the company says delivers 10G/100G networking, on-demand services and network tuning that enables virtual services delivery.

The Ottawa, Canada-based networking vendor says the hardware, with open standard programming interfaces, allows network architects and operators to slice their network switching elements into virtual switching and routing instances, providing customers with tailored virtual SDN environments.

MetTel Launches SD-WAN Solution

Communications specialist MetTel launched a software-defined WAN solution targeting enterprise and mid-market customers. New York-based MetTel is offering the SD-WAN solution through carrier partners, including AT&T and Verizon, to enable businesses to benefit from a fully managed network deployment that manages all underlying carrier deployments, billing and maintenance.

MetTel says benefits from the enhanced SD-WAN system include reduced total cost of ownership, assured application performance, simplified branch deployments with cloud-based gateway provisioning based on pre-defined policies, and reduced hardware costs and consolidated branch equipment into a single, cloud-controlled device.

F5's BIG Platform

F5 Networks launched its new BIG-IQ Centralized Management 5.0 platform that provides management for F5's BIG-IP product portfolio with significant scalability and performance advances. The platform provides visibility, reporting, licensing, and management capabilities that simplify operations for F5's BIG-IP products, and now includes support for its BIG-IP Access Policy Manager.

The Seattle-based application performance specialist also upgraded its BIG-IP software by unveiling BIG-IP version 12.1 with enhanced public cloud integration and more sophisticated security policies for on-premise and hybrid cloud environments.

Cisco Switches, Access Points

Cisco expanded its Meraki wireless and switching product lines with a pair of new indoor wireless 802.11ac Wave 2 access points and cloud-managed switches.

The company's new MR52 and MR53 access points have 4x4 antennas; are available in 20, 40, 80 and 160MHz channels; and enable Beacon engagement and Bluetooth LE scanning. The MR52 has dual 1-gigbit interfaces with a list price of $1,399, while the MR53 is multi-gigabit at a price of $1,699.

Cisco also announced its MS350-24X Layer 3 switch -- a new 24-port addition to the MS350 family, with 8 multi-gigabit ports of 1/2.5/5/10G with a list price of $7,495. The other new Cisco switch is the MS425, with 16 and 32 ports of 10/40G along with flexible stacking. The list price for the MS425 with 16 ports is $14,000, while the MS425 with 32 ports is $22,000.

Ixia Launches CloudLens

Ixia has launched CloudLens, a network visibility platform consisting of existing Ixia solutions and products that will integrate network visibility across private, public and hybrid cloud environments. By combining Ixia's virtual network taps, packet, application flow filtering, SSL decryption and deduplication capabilities, CloudLens gives businesses insight into their network traffic in both physical and virtualized environments.

The platform supports OpenStack KVM, VMware NSX and ESXi, and Microsoft Hyper-V. Calabasas, Calif.-based Ixia also recently launched its initial Partner Program in May.