Enterasys bucks the trend with its new datacenter plans

Going against the grain might well be the best differentiator.

While Cisco, HP, Brocade, Juniper, and almost every player I can name off the top of my head announced plans to delivered converged infrastructures running on their own environment (or one with tightly controlled and limited partners), Enterasys is making their position clear by going the opposite direction and encouraging (and delivering) multi-vendor solutions to the datacenter customer.

Enterasys primary hook is that they have a long history of developing and deploying their policy-based switches. This is the direction that many vendors are effectively going, ion the ability to deliver switching technologies that allow for easy modification of the environment, a critical capability when virtualization and consolidation are two of the major driving technologies in today's datacenter.

The announcement of the multi-vendor datacenter plans come along with the announcements for their new switches. Their hardware technologies sound similar to the other announcements I've seen this year, with the addition real-time analytics for connections and applications, plus their embedded connection policy controls. To me, the real differentiator the Enterasys switch management system with its policy based features and its support for integration with third-party systems focused on controlling, provisioning, and deploying virtual machines.

But the big story really does seem to be the explicitly contrary approach to the next-generation datacenter, maintaining an inclusive approach to technology, rather than the inclusive approach being offered by the top name vendors in the space. Does "best of breed" top the "one throat to choke" vendor approach in the minds of customers? Let me know what your concerns are over either approach to building new and upgraded datacenters.

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