12 Hot Networking Products Set To Shake Things Up In 2017

Networking Products Ringing In The New Year

New networking products have sprouted up in recent weeks from all corners of the IT industry – from Cisco and Arista Networks to Netgear and Cradlepoint, with each vendor seeking to jump-start the new year.

After acquiring Ruckus Wireless for $1.2 billion, Brocade Communications introduced its new Ruckus ICX 7150 switch, while Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise launched a freemium Unified Communications as-a-Service (UCaaS) offering: the Alcatel-Lucent Rainbow. It's going to be an interesting year for the networking world in 2017 as numerous startups jockey for a seat at the table.

CRN looks at 12 of the hottest new networking products from companies seeking to make waves in 2017.

The Brocade-Ruckus ICX Switch

In the first joint launch since San Jose, Calif.-based Brocade Communications acquired Ruckus Wireless last year for $1.2 billion, Brocade introduced the Ruckus ICX 7150 switch, an entry-level stackable campus switch targeting the education and hospitality sectors as well as the SMB market..

The ICX 7150 is available in 12-, 24- and 48-port 10/100/1000 Mbps models with 1-GbE to 10-GbE dual-purpose stacking ports. The switch's Power over Ethernet and Power over Ethernet Plus capabilities make powering of access points and other devices easy, according to Brocade. Additional features include software-defined networking enablement with OpenFlow support, auto configuration and plug-and-play operations for powered devices.

Arista Networks 7160 Data Center Switch

Arista Networks launched a new series of data center switches, the Arista 7160 Series. The 7160 is available in three models that all feature 25/100 GbE ports. The platform delivers operational consistency and automated efficiency through Arista's EOS (Extensible Operating System) and CloudVision software.

Alongside the new 7160 series of switches, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor unveiled performance-enhancing software dubbed Arista AlgoMatch. The company said AlgoMatch provides customers with more flexible and scalable offerings for access control, telemetry and secure cloud networking.

Cisco's Network Convergence Series Hardware

The San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant made several new additions to its Network Convergence Series (NCS) family targeting large service providers and web companies.

Cisco's NCS 5501/5502 is a small-form-factor router for the data center. The NCS 5516 is a modular router, while the NCS 1001 is a compact, programmable interconnect with integrated optical amplifiers and protection.

Cradlepoint's LTE Routers

Designed for the most demanding in-vehicle and Internet of Things applications that need the network, Cradlepoint launched its COR IBR900 series of routers. The compact, ruggedized routing platform is managed through Cradlepoint's NetCloud platform that leverages software-defined networking with zero-touch deployment.

Built with an embedded modem for LTE, 802.11ac Wave 2 support, and a quad-core processor, the Boise, Idaho-based company said the new IBR900 meets the needs of a broad range of IoT and machine-to-machine applications.

Netgear Wi-Fi Business APs

At CES 2017 in Las Vegas, San Jose, Calif.-based Netgear launched its AC WiFi Business Access Point, the WAC510, touting it as the easiest-to-manage wireless Wave 2 access point. The WAC510 is managed by Netgear's new Insight application.

The product delivers high performance with high client density for enterprises requiring reliable wireless for all business applications, according to Netgear. The WAC510 features Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) to achieve speeds up to 1.2 Gbps and offers two Ethernet ports, including a PoE 1-GbE port.

Extreme Networks Analytics Solution For Retail, New APs

The first product introduced since its acquisition of Zebra Technologies' WLAN portfolio, Extreme Networks launched its Retail Guest Analytics solution as part of the company's new ExtremeWireless WiNG product portfolio.

The offering gives retailers a integrated, customizable platform to help them better understand in-store habits and create personalized offers. It scales up to 10 million shoppers across a chain with single sign-on, providing retailers with insight into shopper demographics and buying behaviors and integrating directly with other ExtremeWireless solutions.

Extreme, San Jose, Calif., also added two new 802.11ac access points – ExtremeWireless WiNG AP 7602 and AP 7622. The AP's have zero-touch auto provision and unified wired and wireless management.

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Launches UC Platform

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) launched a new virtualized communications management platform, the Alcatel-Lucent Rainbow. The cloud-based platform is designed to connect business users, contacts and systems in order to enhance productivity and collaboration. The first release, dubbed Rainbow Essential, is available as a free Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) offering. The premium versions will become available later this year, according to the France-based company.

ALE's Rainbow offers a set of cloud-based services with features and collaboration capabilities designed to be easily deployed regardless of the customer's existing systems. It operates via an application on a desktop or smartphone.

Big Switch Monitoring 6.0

Big Switch Networks, Santa Clara, Calif., revealed the new version of its network packet broker monitoring solution: Big Monitoring Fabric 6.0. The new version delivers a 160G bandwidth service node, packet masking capabilities, and includes the company's NetFlow Generation services.

New cloud capabilities in version 6.0 include dynamic virtual machine monitoring to allow VM-to-VM traffic visibility, container monitoring for viewing traffic between containers either on bare metal hosts or in VMware vSphere environments, as well as public cloud monitoring.

Avaya IP Contact Center 10

Avaya launched a new version of its flagship contact center platform, Avaya IP Office Contact Center 10. New features include a simplified and enhanced user interface and web administration, customer callback features, and out-of-the box configuration wizards and templates to quickly design call and interactive voice response flows that can reduce time required by up to 80 percent, according to the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company.

"The new features in Avaya IP Office Contact Center 10 help contact centers quickly define and deploy their customer service strategy to proactively manage the entire customer life cycle with the simplicity, flexibility and tools needed to improve the quality of customer interactions," said Karen Hardy, vice president of Avaya Customer Engagement Solutions, in a statement.

Buffalo Americas 10-GbE Switches

Buffalo Americas unveiled its BS-XP20 series of 10-GbE entry level Layer 2 switches, featuring eight or 12 ports and targeting the SMB market. The BS-XP20 series are designed to be easily installed and managed with plug and play installation.

The BS-XP switches include Buffalo's Intelligent Power Control, an energy conservation feature based on the IEEE 802.3az standard that monitors the activity status of each port to reduce the total power consumed. Buffalo, Austin, Texas, also integrated Green Ethernet functionality into the switches, which monitors network cable length and adjusts the power accordingly.

Brocade's Data Center SLX Line

Brocade Communications unveiled three new models in its SLX data center switching line: the 9140, 9240 and 9540, which offer flexible leaf, spine and edge connectively.

The 9140 is a top-of-rack leaf switch, enabling organizations to design networks that accommodate a variety of different applications and traffic patterns. The 9140 has 48 25-GbE ports and six 100-GbE ports in a 1U fixed form factor, while the 9240 spine switch has 32-port 100-GbE in the same form factor. The SLX 9540 has 48 10-Gbps and six 100-Gbps Ethernet ports.

All of the new SLX switches use the programmable Cavium XPlaint Ethernet chip, which lets Brocade deliver new capabilities via software.

Cisco-Ericsson: New Joint Wi-Fi Offerings

Cisco and Ericsson are deepening the strategic partnership they formed in 2015 with a new Wi-Fi offering, dubbed Evolved Wi-Fi Networks. EWN combines Ericsson's 3GPP access, core networks and applications with Cisco's wireless portfolio. The offerings include pre-integrated and verified solutions such as the combination of Ericsson's indoor access networks with Cisco's WLAN portfolio.

" With Wi-Fi traffic predicted to grow to 50 percent of the total IP traffic by 2020, a top priority for service providers is to deliver the best possible connected experiences to their customers," said Yvette Kanouff, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Service Provider Business Unit, in a release. "Through our extended strategic partnership with Ericsson, we are committed to providing Wi-Fi solutions of the highest-quality performance and reliability."