Lippis Report 183: 2012 Predictions

In this Lippis Report Research Note 183, we provide our very popular annual top 10 2012 industry predictions that were provided by Andre Kindness, senior analyst at Forrester Research, Nick Lippis, CEO of Lippis Enterprises, and Zeus Kerravala, principal at ZK Research. We take a look into the year ahead and provide our view as to what will come to pass. This Research Note is based upon the “2012 Networking Industry Predictions” Lippis Report podcast.

The following are our top 10 2012 Networking Industry Predictions.

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Prediction One

2012 Is the Year of Data Center Fabrics: The back half of 2012 starts the kick-off of aggressive data center fabric deployments. While Cisco has been shipping FabricPath and Arista has been shipping MLAG and ECMP, Juniper will join the market with its long anticipated Qfabric, Avaya will be shipping a broader VINA enabled product set along with Brocade’s expanded VDX switches with VCS. Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei too will be shipping their version of SPB. In short, there will be plenty of product and options available from which to choose.

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Prediction Two

Voice over LTE Goes Live: Verizon will aggressively deploy Voice over LTE to match AT&T’s talk while you surf on mobile devices functionality. AT&T will then respond with a Voice over LTE initiative. This will drive a huge wave of growth for internet infrastructure companies as VoIP enters the mobile market. Expect to see a robust year for Acme Packet, BroadSoft, Infoblox, Tekelec and many others.

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Prediction Three

Repatriation of Holiday: Obama grants a repatriation holiday allowing large IT firms such as Cisco to bring billions of dollars back to the US market, and puts it to work by making two large acquisitions; one of them will be security and the other storage related.

Prediction Four

Wither Polycom: Amidst tremendous pressure from Cisco’s video communication and telepresence business, Polycom continues its slide. Polycom ends 2012 as an acquired company.

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Prediction Five
The Year of Software-Defined Network Marketing: The SDN/OpenFlow industry marketing machine kicks in with all major networking companies wrapping their existing products around the SDN message. In addition, the SDN controller market starts up with data center switches equipped with controller plug-ins. All new networking concerns seeking VC dollars have SDN/OpenFlow in their business plan. Case in point: look at “Embrane.” While there is will few SDN revenue dollars made in 2012, marketing messaging will be loud.

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Prediction Six

Huawei Enterprise Business Division Comes On Line: Huawei will climb to the number four spot in worldwide network switching at the expense of low cost providers. HP Networking will be the hardest hit, losing at least two points of Asia market share.

Prediction Seven

Network IPO Market Comes Back: At least four large networking IPOs occur, including Arista Networks, Ruckus Wireless, Infoblox and Palo Alto Networks, fueling liquidity into the networking market once again.

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Prediction Eight

IBM Becomes a Networking Thought Leader: IBM System Networking will coalesce its networking investments around virtualized network infrastructure and SDN, renewing its place as a thought leader in the networking industry.

IBM System Networking 2012 Predications

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Prediction Nine

Brocade Gets into WLAN Market: Brocade will buy into the WLAN market by either acquiring Meru Networks, Aerohive or Meraki to shore up its enterprise network switch by offering a unified access value proposition.

Prediction Ten

Application Acceleration Market Fundamentally Changes: Citrix, Riverbed, Cisco, Brocade and F5 will start to compete in the application acceleration or delivery market by offering integrated WAN acceleration, Application Delivery Controllers or ADCs and security network services in both appliance and virtual form factors. Those who are able to tag and steer applications to network services while adding policy will win a larger percentage of market share.

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In addition to the top ten predictions above, software network engineers will be the new rage in 2012 as the market shifts toward a value proposition rooted in software and network services. In addition, Cisco will dominate market share and thought leadership.

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