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Contributing Writer

Enterasys OneFabric Makes Sense

Oct 19, 20112 mins
Cisco SystemsCitrix SystemsData and Information Security

New Enterasys initiative a good match for customers and target market

Just what is a “network fabric?” Generally, the term is used to describe a low-latency, loss-less, converged, flat network architecture for data centers. That said, the term has been co-opted by marketing types so its hard to know what “network fabric” means anymore.This week, networking veteran Enterasys provided its own definition of a “network fabric” with its OneFabric initiative. Rather than limit its fabric to the data center, Enterasys talks about a network fabric that spans from data center to the campus to the mobile network edge. In this way, Enterays has designed OneFabric for low-latency service deliver from server-to-server and/or server-to-person.I heard some details about OneFabric when I visited Enterays yesterday, and I really like the story for several reasons:1. OneFabric is designed for the Enterasys target market. While others are designing network fabrics for extremely large enterprises with thousands of physical and virtual devices in data centers, Enterasys has designed OneFabric for its customers and prospects in the mid-market and small enterprise space. In this way, Enterasys is focused on increasing flexibility and streamlining network operations rather than massive scale.2. Enterasys gives customers multiple entry points. Since you can’t do everything at once, Enterasys OneFabric let’s customers flatten data center networks or address the growing army of mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. Pick your pain point, start there, and then move on with common equipment, tools, and security.3. Enterays is betting on partners. For example, Enterasys works closely with VMware but also supports Citrix XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-V integration with its own network operations. This is a good fit for mid-market and small enterprise organizations that have already bet on Citrix XenApp or Windows infrastructure.In my opinion, Enterasys took the “network fabric” concept to a form that is easy to consume for mid-market and small enterprise companies. Enterasys also made sure to integrate network provisioning, management, and security throughout the whole enchilada. Enterasys faces stiff competition from Cisco, Dell/Force 10, Extreme, HP, and Juniper, each with its own network fabric offering. Rather than aim for the enterprise elite however, Enterasys paid special attention to customer requirements in a market niche. This focus may give the company a leg up with budget-conscious and service-oriented mid-market and small enterprise organizations.

Contributing Writer

Jon Oltsik is a distinguished analyst, fellow, and the founder of the ESG’s cybersecurity service. With over 35 years of technology industry experience, Jon is widely recognized as an expert in all aspects of cybersecurity and is often called upon to help customers understand a CISO's perspective and strategies. Jon focuses on areas such as cyber-risk management, security operations, and all things related to CISOs.

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