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SolarWinds debuts NPM 12; HPE touts converged system

ICYMI: SolarWinds launches NPM 12; HPE introduces a converged system for machine devices; IDC reports switching and routing revenues remain flat for the first quarter.

SolarWinds added tools to its flagship Network Performance Management  software to permit users to track the network...

performance of their cloud and other external providers.

The additional capabilities in NPM 12 are part of a push by the network management vendor to recognize the shift among its customers to hybrid IT, according to Mav Turner, director of product strategy.

"Cloud and hybrid IT implementations are only going to grow, which will in turn further increase the complexity of not only networking, but the entire application stack," he said. "SolarWinds products designed to provide this comprehensive visibility ... will only increase in importance as IT professionals seek to get a handle on this new reality."

Underpinning NPM 12 are two new features: NetPath and Network Insight. NetPath visually maps both hybrid network paths and on-premises data, providing hop-by-hop latency information that lets systems administrators pinpoint where problems are occurring.

Network Insight monitors a network's load-balancing capabilities. NPM 12 initially supports F5 BIG-IP application delivery controllers, with other ADC appliances to be added in the months to come, SolarWinds said.

SolarWinds, based in Austin, Texas, said its most recent IT Trends Report indicated almost nine out of 10 organizations have shifted some of their infrastructure to the cloud. Nonetheless, 60% said they may never transition all services off-site, steering interest toward hybrid IT. That means network administrators need to spot bottlenecks across all the networks delivering their services and applications.

Hewlett Packet Enterprise introduces new converged system

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has introduced what the company is calling its first converged systems for analyzing data gathered from internet-enabled devices found in manufacturing, oil and gas, and utility industries.

This week, HPE introduced the Edgeline EL1000 and EL4000 as internet of things (IoT) systems that integrate data capture, compute and storage to deliver results of analytics performed at the edge of the network. Similar to rival Cisco, HPE is pitching an architecture in which analytics are performed at the edge to avoid the less efficient method of transporting raw information to a central data center for processing.

Ultimately, the goal is to deliver actionable intelligence on potential problems to people responsible for equipment on the factory floor or oil and gas pipeline. To get and analyze the necessary data, the latest Edgeline systems are ruggedly built, so they can be deployed near the sensor-carrying equipment where the information originates.

The EL4000, which can support up to 64 Intel Xeon CPU cores, handles analytics by way of the HPE Vertica Analytics Platform, a relational database system built specifically to handle modern analytical workloads. The EL4000 is a 1RU system that can fit in a server rack.

The EL1000 is a smaller system that companies can mount anywhere close to the equipment from which it is drawing data. The EL1000 contains up to 16 cores for running analytics software.

For capturing data from industrial systems, the Edgeline hardware uses National Instruments' PXI technology. For in-transit data security, the EL4000 and EL1000 use Aruba's Virtual Intranet Access virtual private network client.

HPE plans to make the Edgeline systems available by the end of the summer.

HPE's largest competitor for IoT business is Cisco, which has a portfolio of hardware and software that includes network connectivity, computing, security, analytics, and systems management and automation.

IoT technology and services revenue will rise from $4.8 trillion in 2012 to $7.3 trillion by 2017, according to IDC. The hottest markets for IoT products will be in consumer devices, discrete manufacturing and government.

IDC switch, router report finds modest growth

The Ethernet switch market grew a slight 1.6% in the first quarter of 2016, to $5.48 billion, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Ethernet Switch Tracker and Worldwide Quarterly Router Tracker report. The service provider router market, meantime, grew 3.3%, to $3.47 billion in sales.

"The first quarter saw its typical sequential downturn, with year-over-year growth just above flat levels," said Rohit Mehra, vice president of network infrastructure at IDC. "Price erosion played a role globally, especially in the 10/40 GbE segments, as the industry prepares for 25/50/100 GbE shipments to commence in volume," he added.

Although average selling prices fell, 10 Gb port shipment grew 29.8%, with 8.3 million ports shipped. Overall, 10 GbE switch revenue was nearly flat, hovering just below $2 billion. During the first quarter, 40 GbE revenue reached $679.6 million, growing 32.9% over the previous year -- 1 GbE switch revenue dropped by 5.1%, in spite of a 9.7% increase in port shipments.

IDC reported divergent results among different vendors and regions. Juniper Networks and Cisco both experienced a decline in sales, while Huawei performed well in both routing and switching. Only two regions saw year-over-year increases from 2015, with Asia-Pacific being the primary driver. North America also experienced growth, driven by a 4.2% increase in the United States.

Cisco offers up 2016 Visual Networking Index

Global IP traffic will nearly triple in the next five years -- growing at an annual clip of 22%, to 194.4 exabytes per month by 2020 -- according to the 11th annual Cisco Visual Networking Index.

According to the study, by 2020, 52% of the world's population -- 4.1 billion people -- will be connected to the internet, from 3 billion in 2015. At the same time, Cisco projected by 2020, global IP networks will be supporting 26.3 billion network-connected devices, from 16.3 billion in 2015.

Continuing a trend, IP video and related services will represent a majority of internet traffic, reaching 79% of total traffic by 2020, from 63% last year. To accommodate the increase in demand, Cisco forecasted fixed broadband connection speeds to almost double, rising from 24.7 Mbps to 47.7 Mbps.

Mobile users continue to generate the most traffic; Cisco projected, by the end of the decade, 71% of total IP traffic will originate through smartphones, tablets and other non-PC devices.

The growth in IP traffic will also come with increased network vulnerabilities. Cisco, working with Arbor Networks, projected distributed denial-of-service attacks will more than double -- from 6.6 million to 17 million -- over the next five years.

Next Steps

SolarWinds adds analytics to NPM

Power industry prepares for mobile traffic growth

Converged systems make an arrival

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