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1Tired of Cisco and HP Five Networking Alternatives

Juniper Networks ( the former number two vendor in networking (duking it out with HP ProCurve prior to HP’s 3Com acquisition), Juniper Networks is a major player that competes directly with the core networking offerings from Cisco and HP. Its value proposition is in high-performance IP networking and in its JUNOS operating system, said Michelle Warren, president of MW Research & Consulting. Juniper’s products are comparable to those from both Cisco and HP.

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Extreme Networks ( a strong focus on the telecommunications market, Extreme Networks also plays heavily in the data center and enterprise space. The vendor’s product portfolio spans 10/100 up to 40 Gbps Ethernet switches, as well as competencies in Layer 3 switching, network management, security capabilities and wireless. The vendor’s channel program is focused on enabling partners to develop best-of-breed solutions that meet customer requirements.

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Enterasys Networks ( is a top-of-mind concern of IT professionals and C-level executives, and it’s probably the biggest selling feature of Enterasys Networks, a vendor that has prided itself on offering high-quality security offerings for several years. Although not known as being the most channel-focused of networking vendors, Enterasys does support it VARs through the Secure Advantage Partner Program.

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Avaya ( more for its unified communications strengths, Avaya pushed its way into the core routing/switching market by acquiring Nortel Networks assets. Avaya provides four series of enterprise network switches through its channel partners, but Warren noted that Avaya’s main focus is in call centers and unified communications.

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Brocade ( a broad networking portfolio, Brocade is focused on delivering high-performance, high-density networking routers and switches. A strong portfolio for data centers and campus environments means the company primarily serves large enterprises and service providers. One of its strengths is in its vendor partnerships, which include companies like EMC and Oracle, Warren said.