Denys Rudyi - Fotolia

Network pricing may not matter very much to enterprises

This week, networking analysts discuss network pricing in enterprise decision making, Huawei's entry into the SD-WAN market and the message of VMworld 2016.

Greg Ferro, blogging in EtherealMind, said he believes network pricing matters less in the end for enterprises than other concerns. When it comes to network pricing, the threat of downtime is so great that most companies will happily go cheap on pay and office environments, and then spend big on expensive technology that is the "right thing to do" for network performance.

Ferro said he sees plenty of evidence that network pricing matters little to organizations, asking his readers rhetorical questions. Ferro wondered how often network engineers actually choose the less expensive system only to see IT teams commonly buy over specification, preparing for service lives up to 10 years, even though a typical system will be overhauled after only three. Ferro urged those who choose to buy over-spec technology, along with pricey support and maintenance agreements, to consider whether they truly need it or not, and to think to themselves, "Do I really need buy the most expensive IT products on the market?"

Read more of Ferro's thoughts on network pricing.

Huawei tries to plunge into SD-WAN market

Drew Conry-Murray, writing in Packet Pushers, said he sees Chinese networking vendor Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in need of a strong case, as it works to shift into the SD-WAN market. During Huawei Connect 2016 in Shanghai, the company announced CloudVPN, which it is rolling out in partnership with Telia, a Swedish telco. Like other software-defined WAN offerings, CloudVPN is intended to make provisioning and connecting branch offices easier over a combination of leased lines and broadband. Huawei is targeting telcos and, ultimately, enterprises with its product. Currently, service providers that offer leased lines are feeling pressure from a wide variety of SD-WAN startups that threaten their business model.

CloudVPN relies on a customer premises equipment device that includes a router and can easily be installed by remote offices. The product is configured with a cloud-based controller that allows the customer to determine the type of connectivity over which to transmit its data. Huawei will be competing with dozens of other SD-WAN providers, which range from vendors such as Viptela and Riverbed Technology to service providers that include Verizon, AT&T and CenturyLink. Conry-Murray said, as a major networking player, Huawei will have no problem getting its product in front of existing customers, but it will likely face stiff competition in the United States. "Huawei needs more than just a me-too offering if it wants to stand out," he said.

Explore Conry-Murray's thoughts on Huawei's CloudVPN.

Recapping VMworld 2016

Mark Peters, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group Inc., in Milford, Mass., recapped VMworld 2016, which, in his view, was overshadowed by this week's official merger of EMC -- which owns VMware -- and Dell Technologies. VMworld, Peters said, highlighted "VMware Everywhere," which isn't a formal policy or product, but rather a theme of the conference.

According to Peters, the conference focused heavily on managing questions and concerns about the merger. During presentations, many speakers emphasized the changes would benefit the attendees. "Michael Dell, in essence, asserted that he did not envisage the new Dell Technologies seeking to be a kind of King Canute of IT, attempting to hold back the waves of IT change, even as some waves of change might damage certain 'product sandcastles' that are already built and contributing good revenue and margin," Peters said.

Dive deeper into Peters' conference coverage.

Next Steps

Network costs grow with pay per use

Comparing SD-WAN vendor platforms

The latest VMworld 2016 conference coverage

Dig Deeper on Cloud and data center networking

Unified Communications
Mobile Computing
Data Center