The New Networking Game
The networking industry was jolted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which lit a fire under then-emerging IT trends such as work-from-home, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), 5G and Wi-Fi 6. It’s safe to say that businesses are adopting new technologies faster now than in years past.
Network automation and cloud-based platforms took precedence as companies and solution providers looked for new tools that would simplify life for their IT teams and free up their day-to-day routines to focus on more strategic IT operations. Some of the largest vendors that have historically targeted the enterprise began to branch out and develop offerings for smaller environments and small to midsize companies that are revamping their office infrastructure and setups in light of the changing working dynamic. Driven by trends like cloud and digitalization, enterprises are more interested now than ever before in adopting multi-cloud networking and SASE offerings, which are at “peak hype” and experiencing real-world adoption in 2021, according to research firm Gartner.
Leading networking vendors and newer born-in-the-cloud startups rose to the occasion with cloud-first, automation-heavy offerings, products to harness new forms of connectivity, and offerings that targeted branch offices, remote users and SMB environments. With many options on the market to choose from this year, here are 10 of the coolest networking products of 2021.