Nomad_Soul - Fotolia

2016 CIO top priorities revealed in survey

This week, CIO top priorities revealed, Juniper Networks acquires BTI Systems -- an optical networking firm -- and Netronome introduces Agilio.

Security, cloud enterprise software and mobile technologies top the list of priorities CIOs will be focusing on in 2016, according to the fifth annual Piper Jaffray CIO survey.

Overall, CIOs expect to increase their IT budgets by 2.6%, Piper Jaffray said, with other CIO top priorities spanning storage, servers and switching and routing.

Reflecting the many high-level data breaches in 2014 and 2015, security took center stage among CIO top priorities. A majority of respondents -- 82% -- said they intend to spend more money on security, with endpoint security attracting the most attention.

Although security led in terms of spending, networking trailed close behind. Among respondents, 38% said they would increase spending on switching and routing, while 57% said they would keep their spending the same. Some 30% of CIOs said they would increase spending on their WLAN infrastructures; 27% said they would boost their investments in WAN optimization.

Piper Jaffray interviewed 137 CIOs across more than eight industries in North America. The respondents were drawn principally from enterprises, with 23% of respondents overseeing IT budgets in excess of $50 million.

Meantime, New York-based 451 Research reported that public cloud storage will remain among CIO top priorities in 2016, with the proportion spent on storing data in the cloud projected to double by 2017. According to the 451 Research Voice of the Enterprise survey, public cloud storage will account for 17% of total enterprise storage spending in 2017, up from 8% today.

Juniper moves into optical networking

Juniper Networks plans to acquire BTI Systems Inc., a maker of optical networking hardware and software for metro networks and data center interconnects. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Juniper announced this week that it had reached a definitive agreement to acquire the privately held Canadian company. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter.

BTI provides a software-defined approach to optical networking for communication and cloud service providers. The company's products help customers scale their networks and deploy services to customers faster. BTI also provides hardware and software for virtualized network functions (VNFs).

Founded in 2000, BTI has more than 380 customers across 40 countries.

Juniper plans to integrate BTI's technology with its NorthStar Controller, adding network management features that provide "end-to-end provisioning of new services," Jonathan Davidson, executive vice president and general manager of Juniper's development and innovation unit, said in a company blog. NorthStar is a wide area network controller.

Juniper and rivals Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent have been moving into the packet optical transport market for several years, using the technology to extend the use of their routers. In 2010, for example, Cisco completed the acquisition of CoreOptics, which designed digital signal processing technology for optical networking applications.

The optical transport equipment market is expected to reach $15 billion by 2020, according to the Dell'Oro Group. Driving growth is demand for wavelength division multiplexing systems, which combine multiple signals on laser beams for transmission along optical fiber.

Netronome introduces Agilio server hardware

Netronome Systems has introduced Agilio server hardware for offloading Open vSwitch traffic in cloud environments.

The Agilio-CX Intelligent Server Adapter, released this week, slips into a PCIe slot of a 1 RU server. The Agilio card is designed to meet the small size and low-power requirements of cloud data center servers used in software-defined networking (SDN).

The Netronome hardware includes the software needed to offload networking data paths, such as Open vSwitch. The latter is a virtual switch that enables network automation and support for standard management interfaces and protocols, such as NetFlow.

The adapter supports 10/40 GbE, with 25/50 GbE support scheduled for mid-year. At the same time, Netronome plans to release an Agilio adapter for virtual router traffic, such as Juniper Networks' Contrail vRouter. Juniper has released vRouter under the open source Apache 2.0 license.

The Agilio cards boost server efficiency, according to Netronome. The hardware, which works on standard X86 servers, significantly increases throughput while reducing demand on the CPU. The adapter's onboard memory supports up to two million security policies.

The Agilio-CX for 10/40 GbE costs $650. Volume discounts are available. Pricing for the 25/50 GbE version was not released.

Next Steps

IT agility central concern for CIOs

Being savvy with optical network design

Managing Open vSwitch

Dig Deeper on Network infrastructure

Unified Communications
Mobile Computing
Data Center