Top 10 networking stories of 2021


The new hybrid work model to which companies must embrace and adapt makes the whole concept of supporting the mass distributed workforce fundamentally permanent. There is no going back to things as they were before the outbreak of the pandemic.

Leaders in the networking world have attempted to address this new dynamic over the past two years. The companies that will gain an advantage are those who not only bring the appropriate technology to market, but also those who can clearly and precisely explain how this technology can solve the challenges that end-user companies have faced over the past year. .

Simply put, new hybrid work environments require connectivity and security technologies to keep employees productive and able to collaborate. Business leaders place the highest priority on growth, but must deal with unpredictability and change.

This means securely managing networks across multiple international data centers as the workforce becomes more distributed, centralizing management in the cloud, and adopting and implementing techniques such as the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). , in addition to and as an evolution of Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) – in the broader context of the extended enterprise and business. And to do this with a markedly increased ease of use, even if the networks themselves become more and more complicated.

For the vast majority of end-user businesses, this is a process transformation rather than a simple implementation of technology.

With that in mind, here’s a look back at Computer Weekly’s 10 best networking stories in 2021.

1. Extreme Networks aims to enrich the SD-WAN offer with the acquisition of Ipanema

Extreme Networks has announced its intention to acquire Ipanematech SAS, with the aim of expanding its portfolio of advanced networks and offering new wide area network (SD-WAN) and cloud-managed security services.

The company, known as Ipanema, is the SD-WAN division of Infovista, and its services are designed to adjust application traffic flows according to real-time network conditions, providing increased performance and better quality of experience, even under diverse conditions over various types of WAN connectivity managed in the cloud.

2. Flourishing Fiber Developments and SD-WAN Technology Market

Dell’Oro Group research has shown a promising future for fundamental enablers of the enterprise networking market, especially broadband access equipment and software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs).

Looking at the first, the Quarterly report on broadband access and home networks Calculated that the total global broadband access equipment market revenue to reach $ 3.6 billion in the second quarter of 2021, up 7% year-on-year, with growth coming from investment in infrastructure of cable and passive optical networks.

The collective global share of major suppliers remained relatively stable between the end of 2020 and the first half of 2021, with the top seven suppliers accounting for around 81% of the total market. Among the major suppliers, the analyst estimated that Huawei and Nokia had lost ground in the past six months, while Cisco, Ericsson, Samsung and ZTE recorded minor market share gains during the same period.

3. Colt claims 400GE optical services to Hong Kong and Singapore

Colt Technology Services has announced the availability of its 400GE Wave and Private Wave services, making it the first telecommunications company to offer this technology in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Since the launch of its IQ Network in 2016, Colt Technology Services began to venture into optical networks through an investment, test and deployment program.

Colt’s IQ network, which includes more than 29,000 on-net buildings and 900 data centers, along with its customers and network edge locations, is designed to provide improved performance, improved control, flexibility and scalability to customers operating on a dense network fully owned and operated fiber optic network that allows businesses to benefit from an end-to-end connection to the cloud.

4. How SASE is defined to determine the future

Digital transformation has become the watchword for many organizations in recent years. It’s a nebulous term, meaning different things to different people. In some cases, it was a complete overhaul of an entire infrastructure, defining business processes, changing organizational structure and completely upgrading technology; in other cases, there have just been adjustments here and there.

For any business that truly wants a transformative approach, SASE will be the key. When Gartner introduced the term in 2019, it was seen as a handy shortcut for integrating security and networking services. In particular, it offers support for multiple vendors, which is especially important in today’s modern business. However, while this looks superficially appealing, there are challenges in handling SASE implementations.

5. GTT joins forces with Palo Alto to propel the SASE platform

Global cloud network provider GTT Communications has partnered with cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks on a Managed Security Services partnership to power a new SASE platform.

Companies cited research from IDC, which estimated that 53% of workers are slated to continue working remotely or adopt a hybrid home office arrangement in the aftermath of the pandemic, and said organizations need secure and flexible global network systems to adapt.

6. Aryaka Announces “All-in-One” SD-WAN and SASE Offerings for the Hybrid Workplace

Aryaka launched what she called “all-in-one” SD-WAN and SASE offerings for multiple business segments to accelerate cloud adoption and increase business agility.

The company said businesses around the world still face rapid change and unpredictability that has been further exacerbated by the pandemic, and as a result, business leaders are turning to cloud-driven models. because they meet the needs of a workforce that is outside the traditional office.

New hybrid work environments require connectivity and security technologies to keep employees productive and able to collaborate, but this is disrupting the status quo of carrier-run technologies and complex DIY services, Aryaka said.

seven. AT&T Launches SASE Managed Offer with Cisco

AT&T has launched a secure access service edge product portfolio managed in conjunction with Cisco.

Customers familiar with the Cisco SASE platform will recognize the basic functionality of the service, firewall and secure web gateway to DNS layer security. Unlike Cisco’s stand-alone offering, the AT&T product is a managed service, the price of which depends on the specific needs of the customer.

8. WD-40 relieves network friction with SD-WAN, SASE

WD-40, the world-renowned brand for specialty solvents, has deployed Aryaka’s managed SD-WAN and SASE services to build a flexible, reliable and secure network for its operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Since 1953, the main product of WD-40 has been known as “the container of 2000 uses”, Known for its effectiveness in combating rust and corrosion. The company grew to have offices in 13 countries and has annual revenues of over $ 400 million, and was looking for ways to transform its operations for the 21st century.

However, as it grew, the company was unable to eliminate friction in its network and recently struggled due to inflexible, decades-old MPLS technology that did not allow its global operations to keep up. continue easily or safely.

9. Poor connectivity may compromise the transition to hybrid operation

Hybrid work will be a staple for businesses as they adapt to the post-Covid work environment, but a survey by CityFibre and the Chartered Management Institute warned that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to changing working practices for the better in the UK. could be compromised without further action on the reliability of the connectivity.

The poll found that an overwhelming majority of managers – 94% – agreed that improved broadband connectivity would allow digitally excluded people to perform work roles that can be performed remotely in the UK.

10. Hospitality businesses need to accelerate digital transformation to ensure long-term recovery

Research in Aruba has shown that the entire industry must accelerate its digital transformation to fuel a long-term recovery, or risk customer abandonment and fall further behind.

There has been a significant shift in the adoption of digital technology and services, but while some hospitality companies have been able to welcome models online, large swathes of the industry have been forced to lie dormant, leaving many many relatively untested or stagnant digital advances. .