The 10 Coolest New Networking Products Of 2022 (So Far)

Changing networking needs and hybrid IT environments have spurred new products and services from some of the biggest networking vendors and startups alike. Here are 10 of the newest offerings to join the market.

What's New In Wired And Wireless Networking

The networking market has always moved quickly, with its vendors pushing out new innovations and offers the first chance they got, but the last two years have seen unprecedented change that couldn’t have been predicted.

The “network” used to mean the campus and the branch office. Now, it’s a hybrid story. The enterprise wireless network has to be all-encompassing. That might mean covering a small office as some employees return, the home office, pop-up locations, and users on the move. It could also mean the cloud – or realistically, several clouds – as well as premise-based environments covered with networking access points.

Network automation and cloud-based platforms are all the rage as companies and solution providers looked for new tools to simplify life for their IT teams and free up their day-to-day routines to focus on more strategic IT operations. New ways to connect, such as Wi-Fi 6E and 5G are ready for primetime, and the need for security, SD-WAN, and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solutions couldn’t be greater for businesses of all sizes.

Read the latest entry: The 10 Hottest Networking Products of 2022

The hottest networking products of the year:

* Aruba ESP With NetConductor

* AT&T Managed Wireless LAN

* Cisco Catalyst Industrial Access Point

* Extreme Networks' Universal 5720 Switch

* Joint-Fortinet, Masergy Managed SD-WAN

* F5 Distributed Cloud Platform

* Juniper Networks' Secure Edge

* NWN Carousel At-Home Essentials

* Prosimo Full-Stack Cloud Network

* Windstream’s Cato Networks-Powered SASE

With many options on the market to choose from, here are 10 of the coolest new networking products of 2022, so far.

Aruba ESP With NetConductor

Wireless specialist Aruba Networks, Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, in March pumped up its Edge Services Platform (ESP) with new management capabilities to help enterprises go after growing edge and IoT opportunities.

Aruba Central NetConductor offers a set of capabilities that let partners and enterprises define policies, automate network configurations in wired, wireless, and WAN infrastructures, and centralize the management of distributed networks, all without worrying about the underlying network construct. Aruba central, said the company, is the heart” of the company’s flagship network management and analytics platform that sits inside Aruba ESP.

Aruba Central NetConductor will help simplify and automate network policy provisioning using AI, especially as enterprise networks today become more larger and more far-flung, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said.

AT&T Managed Wireless LAN

Dallas-based carrier AT&T in May introduced AT&T Managed Wireless WAN, a “plug and play” solution that gives businesses secure and flexible cellular connectivity to any number of fixed sites, without the limitations of traditional wired connections.

AT&T Managed Wireless WAN can connect thousands of endpoints while providing end-users with fast and secure access to the cloud, internet, and data center applications. Employees in any location will benefit from secure and reliable access they need to be productive from anywhere and without relying on a network provider to deliver a circuit, AT&T said. The solution is delivered hand in hand with the carrier’s partner, Cradlepoint.

The latest solution is a good fit for when wired connections are unavailable, especially when businesses need connectivity right away in the case of a temporary pop-up store or construction trailer, the carrier said.

Cisco Catalyst Industrial Access Point

A recent addition to the Cisco Catalyst family, the new Cisco Catalyst Industrial Wireless (IW) 9167 Series can operate in two different wireless modes, depending on the needs of the business for IoT use cases.

The Catalyst IW9167 can work as an access point on Wi-Fi 6 or 6E connectivity, or, the same piece of hardware can also be configured as a wireless backhaul option, or what Cisco calls the “ultra-reliable” mode using technology that the company got from its 2020 FluidMesh Networks acquisition for assets on the move.

San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco explained that the access point in Wi-Fi AP mode is managed by Cisco DNA Center via the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless LAN Controller. In wireless backhaul mode, on the other hand, businesses can get near fiber-like performance from the Catalyst IW9167, which is very useful for assets that are in-motion, the company said.

Extreme Networks' Universal 5720 Switch

Extreme’s new 5720 Universal Switch, revealed in June, is the latest in a series of high-performance wired and wireless switches for enterprise deployments. The 5720 Universal Switch can support multiple use cases, making it easy for customers to adopt new technologies while preserving hardware and associated licenses, Extreme said. The series can be managed alongside a range of wire and wireless services and SD-WAN platforms from the ExtremeCloud IQ cloud-based management platform.

The latest switch series is a continuation of Extreme’s universal platforms, which are helping to support a slew of brand-new used cases. Extreme’s universal hardware is also giving enterprises more flexibility and choice, while reducing the number of products they have to buy, according to Nabil Bukhari, Extreme’s CTO and chief product officer. “People ask: ’Is it a campus switch or a branch switch?’ and that’s the exact thing we’re trying to get away from,” he said.

Right now more than ever, enterprises need technologies that aren’t location-dependent, he said. “The technology needs to deliver an outcome wherever you want that outcome,” he said. “The 5720 Universal Switch will help enterprises get the best of their Wi-Fi 6E regardless of where they deploy it.”

Joint-Fortinet, Masergy Managed SD-WAN

Security specialist Fortinet and hybrid networking specialist Masergy Communications came together in April launch a managed SD-WAN solution that combines networking, security, and managed services. The packaged solution includes Fortinet Secure SD-WAN solutions, including next-generation firewall, advanced routing, and Zero Trust Network Access proxy functions, with network and security management services from Comcast-owned Masergy.

The managed SD-WAN solution also has a built-in distribution route for channel partners: Ingram Micro is handling distribution, the three companies told CRN. The SD-WAN offering is a good fit for solution providers that may not have service operations, SD-WAN certifications, and limited technical resources, according to the companies.

F5 Distributed Cloud Platform

In February, F5, formerly known as F5 Networks, rolled out a new platform and service that combines its recent Volterra and Shape Security buys with its own technology to help partners and businesses handle application delivery and security.

The F5 Distributed Cloud Platform provides cloud-native, software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based application security and delivery services. Within the new platform, the company has launched the F5 Distributed Cloud Web Application and API Protection (WAAP) service, which combines F5’s Advanced Web Application Firewall, Volterra’s API security technology; AI-based bot defense from Shape Security; and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) security, the Seattle-based company told CRN.

The company called the F5 Distributed Cloud Platform, a “Swiss Army knife” that centrally manages services for partners and end customers.

Juniper Networks’ Secure Edge

Introduced to the market in February, the networking giant unveiled Juniper Secure Edge, a cloud-delivered security service that offers Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) as a single-stack software architecture that lets businesses, all the way from enterprise to the midmarket and smaller, transition to SASE and scale their security profiles as they grow.

Juniper Secure Edge gives users with reliable and secure access to their applications and security resources, including Dynamic Zero Trust segmentation. The offering lets companies manage and maintain their security policies from one place and grants users secure access, regardless of if they are working from the office, at home, or on the road.

Secure Edge is a different delivery vehicle for all of the same threat protection and firewalling features that customers have come to love from Juniper SRX series. But because it’s entirely cloud-managed -- from Juniper Security Director Cloud -- Juniper Secure Edge will help businesses manage their security environments across a hybrid workforce, according to Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper Networks.

Solution provider powerhouse NWN Carousel upped its hybrid work game with the introduction of a bundled solutions in April for home workers.

The At-Home Essentials kit offers business-grade connectivity—including bandwidth and Cisco Meraki wireless access points—as well as visual collaboration tools, which include high-resolution desktop cameras, face lighting and advanced speakers, microphones and headsets. The kit also includes end-user service desk support. Users have a choice between third-party collaboration device vendor products, including Cisco Webex and Poly hardware for video meetings. The At-Home Essentials kit can integrate with existing solutions customers may already have in their environments, like Microsoft Teams.

Boston-based NWN Carousel is selling these solutions through its own channel of partners and taking the kits directly to its thousands of end customers via a flexible, consumption-based selling model.

Prosimo Full-Stack Cloud Network

Prosimo, a multi-cloud networking upstart, in April unrolled innovations for app-to-app networking across multi-cloud environments which included new features for its Network Transit and App Transit solutions.

The full-stack cloud network, according to the company, gives enterprises the ability to seamlessly orchestrate connectivity using cloud-native gateways and services for any cloud – multi-region, multi-cloud and premise-based environments. The update allows for simplified onboarding and day two operations across clouds to support diverse networks and applications and the ability to scale transport with cloud backbone, edge PoPs and integration with cloud-native gateways in regions and at the edge of the cloud environments.

Three-year-old Prosimo has been committed to doing 100 percent of its business through the channel from “day one,” the company told CRN in January.

Windstream’s Cato Networks-Powered SASE

Telecom provider Windstream Enterprise in March joined forces with cloud networking specialist Cato Networks to release its first SASE offering. Windstream Enterprise SASE powered by Cato combines cloud-native networking and security capabilities to help businesses with hybrid users or employees constantly on the move and in new locations to access everything they need while managing application, routing and security policies from one place.

The offering combines SD-WAN technology from Cato Networks, the foundation for SASE, as well as security elements such as Firewall as a Service, Secure Web Gateways, Zero Trust Network Access and Cloud Access Security Broker technology, according to Little Rock, Ark.-based Windstream.

Windstream SASE is available today through Windstream’s channel partners.