An Avaya networking sale may prove challenging

This week, bloggers look into challenges facing an Avaya networking sale, ZeroStack's launch of automated infrastructure, and discuss the hot topics of this year's RSA Conference.

Shamus McGillicuddy, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates in Boulder, Colo., sees a challenging outlook for an Avaya networking sale in the wake of the company's bankruptcy filing. Above all, the ongoing sale of Brocade's networking assets by new owner Broadcom may mean poor opportunities for an Avaya networking sale. Avaya, which owns a broad portfolio of networking and UC products, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to restructure a 10-year-old debt structure left over from when it was primarily a hardware supplier.

Complicating Avaya's situation is Broadcom's purchase of Brocade and its decision to sell off Brocade assets in a way that won't harm Broadcom's existing customers -- most of which are network infrastructure equipment vendors. In addition, Brocade and Avaya both have substantial networking assets that fall outside their core business. "With Brocade's networking business on the market, Avaya might not get the offer it wants for its own networking business. It will find itself competing on price with Broadcom and Brocade. Is there more than one entity interested in acquiring a routing and switching business?" McGillicuddy asked, citing just a few of the potential holdups that could slow an Avaya networking sale.

Dig deeper into McGillicuddy's thoughts on an Avaya networking sale.

ZeroStack premieres premieres hands-free automation

Writing in Packet Pushers, Ethan Banks looked into ZeroStack, a maker of automated infrastructure. The company added a learning capability to its policy engine, billing the update as the "self-driving cloud." The upgrade promises to do the "boring work" for users, improving resource utilization, predicting future needs, troubleshooting performance issues and optimizing workload placement, Banks said. ZeroStack now touts its upgrade as one that offers hands-free operation, using its learning function to process anonymized statistics and monitoring telemetry from customer stacks. The vendor offers proactive remediation in the form of predicting cluster capacity, analyzing storage performance, upgrading software and freeing up hardware resources by reassigning virtual machines, Banks said.

ZeroStack, Bank said, is not intending to displace VMware right away with its automated infrastructure, especially because VMware is slow to replace. However, with many organizations needing to make applications rapidly available, automation and the agility ZeroStack offers is appealing. Banks predicts that in the near future, IT departments may begin to notice ZeroStack and wonder why they are not already automating.

Read more of Banks' thoughts on ZeroStack automated infrastructure.

RSA 2017 security chatter

On the eve of the 2017 RSA, Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Jon Oltsik listed five endpoint security trends he believes will attract the most attention at next week's conference. Chief among them: DDoS attacks, which Oltsik said are rarely discussed even though a number of organizations, including LLoyds Bank and the Trump Hotel website, have been targeted in the past few weeks. Oltsik expects DDoS security chatter from companies like Akamai, Arbor Networks and F5 that are increasingly focused on this area of cybersecurity. Another big area of discussion will be securing the cloud, with the advent of cloud security and micro-segmentation firms, such as CloudPassage and Illumio, challenging traditional firewall groups like Check Point.

Oltsik views the software-defined perimeter (SDP) as an emerging area as well. "I follow this market enough to know that most security and networking professionals haven't a clue about what it is, so I'm hopeful that vendors use the RSA Conference for SDP education rather than [reverting to] marketing hype alone," he said. Oltsik predicts that SDP will attract vendors like Cisco, Aruba and ForeScout. Along with scale and consolidation topics such as multithreading and parallel processing, there will be substantial activity in network security analytics, according to Oltsik. Companies are working to align external threat intelligence with network telemetry, artificial intelligence and process automation.

Explore more of Oltsik's thoughts on RSA 2017.

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