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Vendor Landscape: Data Center Networking

It may be time to switch up your data center network.

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What matters more, the vendor score or the product score? As you weigh the importance, we will generate the vendor shortlist to match your needs.

View Vendor Shortlist

What is a shortlist?

A shortlist is a personalized list of vendors based on the criteria you define. Your shortlist offers more information about vendor's strengths, weaknesses, price-points, etc, and ranks them according to your needs.

Access this Vendor Shortlist by logging in with your Info-Tech Research Group membership or unlocking this content.


What is a Value Score?

The Value Score indexes each vendor’s product offering and business strength relative to their price point. It does not indicate vendor ranking.

Vendors that score high offer more bang for the buck (e.g. features, usability, stability, etc.) than the average vendor, while the inverse is true for those that score lower.

Price-conscious enterprises may wish to give the Value Score more consideration than those who are more focused on specific vendor/product attributes.

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Solution Set Storyboard Thumbnail
  • There are many vendors in the space, offering similar products and services.
  • There are too many available products, complicating product purchasing.
  • The product of choice must be a viable product from a viable vendor.
  • A product must be able to fulfill current and future needs.
  • You don’t want to invest in a product or vendor that will no longer fit your needs in the near future.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Disaggregation is the future. The days of high-cost switches packaging software with hardware are coming to an end. Vendors are beginning to offer switch hardware and software separately. Expect to see an increase in white box switch offerings from more networking vendors.
  • List pricing is just that – all vendors have list pricing, but discounting in the industry has become very competitive. Vendors have been known to offer discounts that are going as deep as 60% or more in competitive situations (40% is typical).
  • Future-proofing is crucial. No matter the trend, the network is critical. Purchase your data center networking equipment and support from a vendor that recognizes key trends and supports them through software upgrades, connectivity, and technical support.
  • If table stake features are all you need from your data center networking solution, the best differentiator is the vendor you choose. Dig deep to find the vendor that fits your organization's needs.

Impact and Result

  • Prepare your data center networking for future business needs.
  • Understand the evolving trends of data center network switches, including the popularization of disaggregated switching.
  • Evaluate vendor capabilities to identify the ideal vendor for your needs.
  • Examine differentiating product features and technologies to decide on the products you want.

Research & Tools

1. Evaluate options based on various product and vendor criteria

Create a shortlist to speed the product and selection process.

2. Identify the ideal data center switch product and vendor

Pinpoint an ideal data center network with quality products from a reliable vendor.

3. Talk to and negotiate with vendors

Identify each vendor’s specific offerings, and how these products align with your needs.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a three call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Technology and Vendor Requirements; Shortlist Vendors

Call #1 - Get off to a productive start: Discuss the market space and how vendors are evaluated. Decide on what you need from your products and vendors and narrow down the options based on your customized requirements.

Guided Implementation #2 - RFP and Budget Review

Call #1 - Interpreting and acting on RFP results: Review vendors’ RFPs and ensure the solution is meeting your needs. Discuss average pricing of solutions and what can fit into your budget.

Guided Implementation #3 - Negotiation and Contract Review

Call #1 - Purchase optimization: Review contracts and discuss best practices in negotiation tactics to get the best price for your solution.

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