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Should IT be looking at a Cisco alternative?

This week, bloggers debate whether it would be better if the industry found a Cisco alternative and reveal what one survey indicated will be the top IT priorities in 2016.

In a recent post, blogger Ivan Pepelnjak of ipSpace refuted claims made in a February 2016 LinkedIn article posted...

by Brocade's Joe Howard that in part encouraged the industry to be more aggressive in seeking a Cisco alternative. Howard said that Cisco has worked to dominate the market through vendor lock-in and by biasing professionals with its certifications, as well as through overwhelming complexity with its technology. He believes that SDN, operational automation tools and fabric technology, among other ideas, would all make computer networking less difficult and serve to create an environment where companies could more comfortably select a Cisco alternative.

Pepelnjak said while simplicity might be a virtue, no vendor purposely makes its products less complex. The real issue, he said, is that other vendors are envious of Cisco.

Follow Pepelnjak and Howard to see what they -- along with dozens of commenters -- have to say.

Honing cloud security

Jon Oltsik, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass., recently assessed cloud security in enterprises today. ESG research indicates that 57% of enterprises use public or private cloud infrastructure to support workloads, relying on server virtualization and virtual machines more and more. As much as 92% of adopters use cloud security systems "extensively," but ESG found that 42% have abandoned some of their traditional security methods.

According to Oltsik, nearly half of respondents found that data encryption, data loss prevention and host-based systems such as file integrity monitoring, HIDS/HIPS and antivirus tools were the least effective cloud security options. Other respondents pointed to network security technologies such as firewalls, IDS/IPS and gateways, as well as web application firewalls, as similarly ineffective.

Explore more of Oltsik's thoughts on cloud security.

Current Analysis mulls top initiatives

Charlotte Dunlap, an analyst with Current Analysis in Sterling, Va., reported new findings from a survey that indicates that the internet of things will remain a top cloud and mobile development initiative over the coming year. Other leading initiatives include mobilizing on-premises applications; implementing application program interfaces (API) and mobile device management or mobile application management systems; and deploying B2C applications.

The survey indicated that large enterprises in particular view IoT as a top priority. Small and midsize businesses, meantime, rate the deployment of B2E applications as the most important. Respondents also said they prefer to have their API services and microservices delivered by platform-as-a-service providers instead of relying on stand-alone options. The Current Analysis survey examined data from 600 IT professionals and developers.

Next Steps

Looking into Cisco's SDN framework

Best models for cloud security

Scaling IoT for healthcare

Dig Deeper on Data Center Network Infrastructure

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