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Ethernet switch market makes gains

IDC probes the Ethernet switch market, Gigamon improves network visibility and Riverbed survey of 900 IT illustrates application performance fears.

The global Ethernet switch market eclipsed $6.1 billion in the third quarter of 2015, an uptick of 2% over the year, and a strong 6.1% quarter over quarter. The results, released as part of IDC's recent Worldwide Quarterly Ethernet Switch and Router Trackers study, had the Framingham, Mass., company noting that the market segment enjoyed a modest market improvement in the three-month period.

According to the study, 10 GbE switch (Layer 2/3) revenues fell 1.6% to $2.2 billion, although the number of 10 GbE port shipments in the third quarter rose almost 28% to 8.5 million. The quarter also brought record revenue from 40 GbE sales, reaching $644 million, an increase of 41.4% year over year. IDC projects 40 GbE and 10 GbE to continue to drive the Ethernet switch market in the near future, particularly in light of slightly declining 1 GbE switch revenues, which decreased 0.3% year over year.

"Overall revenue and port shipment growth rebounded somewhat in [the third quarter], even though the usually strong 10 GbE segment continued to see weakness in year-over-year revenues," said Rohit Mehra , IDC's vice president of network infrastructure, in a statement.

The Ethernet switch market improved most in North America, growing by 8.2% year over year. Other parts of the world, such as Hong Kong, Asia/Pacific, China and Western Europe also showed recovery in the Ethernet switch market, while other places such as the Middle East and Australia recorded modest declines. Within the Ethernet switch market vendor segment, IDC said Cisco performed the best overall, recording 0.8% year over year growth and a 61.6% market share. By contrast, the survey rated Hewlett Packard Enterprise as largely flat while Juniper Networks notched a record performance, with a 39.4% year-over-year increase in Ethernet switching orders.

Gigamon adds new appliance to visibility portfolio

Gigamon beefed up its GigaVUE operating software, rolled out a new appliance and upgraded two other products in an effort to help IT administrators get better visibility across their networks.

"The natural consequence resulting from network virtualization, segmentation and distribution is the need for greater visibility into traffic while optimizing traffic flows to appropriate network tools and security appliances," said Sesh Sayani, director of product management at Gigamon, in a statement.

The upgrade to GigaVUE-OS increases the number of nodes -- to 32 per cluster -- the software can inspect and also increases its overall monitoring capacity to 15.36 Tbps per cluster.

In addition, the software now supports Layer 2 Generic Routing Encapsulation, allowing it to integrate with private cloud-based monitoring tools.

The new appliance, GigaVue-FM, is a dedicated management box, with 16 GB of RAM and a 1 TB hard disk drive with RAID 1 capabilities. It's designed for deployments where companies want a turnkey management option or for high-traffic networks that require separate compute capacity to handle oversight of the visibility fabric.

Finally, Gigamon said it is integrating GigaVue-VM, its virtual product, with VMware's NSX, to allow IT administrators to automate how it forwards traffic from NSX Security Group products to Gigamon's monitoring and security tools.

GigaVUE-OS and GigaVUE-FM enhancements are slated to be available later this year, while the VMware integration and the new appliance are currently in beta testing for future release.

Riverbed survey finds 89% of IT leaders troubled by app performance

Application performance is the No. 1 problem facing IT administrators, with almost three out of four saying they are often unsure of why their enterprise apps aren't working.

IT professionals' concerns about application behavior are among the key management issues highlighted by Riverbed Technology's recently released Global Application Performance study, which found that 89% of respondents cited application performance as one of their most significant challenges. Of those administrators, 20% say they deal with application performance problems on a daily basis.

The stress is so acute, the study revealed, that almost a third of IT managers take extended lunch breaks or leave the office early rather than wrestle with balky apps.

"The survey validates a lot of things our customers have been talking about with the critical importance of apps," said Steve Brar, Riverbed's director of product marketing.

Brar said latency and other gaps in app performance were inhibiting productivity, leaving customers unhappy and employees demoralized.

The study, which encompassed 900 respondents in eight countries, is significant, Brar said, because it illustrates to both IT and business leaders how important it is to deploy visibility tools aimed at shoring up application performance management or network performance management.

CBT launches course aimed at new CCNA Security exam

CBT Nuggets has released a new video training course covering Cisco's newly revised CCNA Security certification examination, reflecting the vendor's focus on VPNs, next-generation firewalls and its adaptive security appliance (ASA) foundation.

Cisco revised its CCNA Security certification exam earlier this year, officially retiring the old test Nov. 30. The new exam, 210-260, covers many of the same security provisions as the older one, but it also gauges engineers' proficiency with the FirePOWER intrusion prevention (IPS) technology that now underpins Cisco's ASA portfolio. Cisco swapped out its own IPS for FirePOWER after it acquired Sourcefire in September 2014.

"Having hands-on experience [with the ASA] is critical," said CBT Nuggets instructor Keith Barker, who produced the multipart CCNA Security training course. "If you are reading a book or studying online, you will want to practice with the ASA and the ASA device manager because the certification will demand that. If you haven't played with the interface, that will be a big challenge."

Barker said the new course, Cisco CCNA Security 210-260 IINS, will be especially helpful for engineers who are relatively new to the industry, but it will also aid more seasoned professionals who might need additional insight into VPNs, firewalls and other core networking technologies.

"The course will provide some additional depth and let engineers learn techniques that might necessarily be needed for the CCNA Security exam."

Next Steps

Riverbed improves APM

Gigamon wins award for traffic visibility tools

Ethernet switch market marks high revenue

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