At the end of November 2021, Auvik released our annual Network Vendor Diversity Report, and the data we collected had some interesting findings. Over 520,000 devices across 40,000 networks contributed, showing which vendors are taking a leading share of the market.

In this roundup, we’ll show you some of the most interesting learnings we saw in 2021.

Lineup changes

As part of this annual report, we look at access points, switches, routers, and firewalls across managed networks. And over the last year, we saw the following vendor changes in each category:

  • 0 change in access point vendors
  • 19 new switch vendors
  • 1 less router vendor than last year
  • 8 new firewall vendors

The largest vendor category was switches, with 157 vendors. A minimum of 60 vendors competed in each other category. There were over 400 vendors in total.

So, who was the most commonly deployed vendor?

Cisco once again reigns supreme. The staple vendor of many networks increased share from last year’s decline (but was still 2020’s top most deployed vendor). Cisco has products in all four studied categories, and also owns Meraki, the second most popular vendor. In total, Cisco and Meraki’s share of the full market is 38.5%. Incredible!

The top ten vendors across the networks we studied hold over 85% of the market share. Fortinet showed impressive growth, up 1.7% from last year for a total share of 3.8%, moving the company to seventh overall. Cisco, Meraki, Ubiquiti, and Aruba also made noticeable gains.

The Auvik take

As many companies expand their offerings to include more device types, the market will continue to become more tightly contested.

Access Points

In the access point category, it was neck and neck for the top spot. Ubiquiti led in market share, but only by 0.1%. Impressively, Cisco gained 8.4% this year, leading to a decrease for many other vendors.

The Auvik take

Businesses are shifting to a hybrid model of work, with more remote and work-from-home employees. As this happens, the importance of quality over quantity becomes evident for access point vendors. More companies will replace their swaths of mid-grade access points for fewer, higher quality devices, improving connections for employees who do drop into office spaces.

Switches

In the largest category of network device vendors, not much has changed in terms of winners and losers. However, don’t be fooled!

The Auvik take

The industry is still shifting, and more virtual switch vendors are joining the market. In fact, more companies are now choosing virtual/software-defined technology in this category over physical devices. That’s how the category itself will continue to show growth, even in small amounts.

Routers

Cisco’s overall gain in the router market shows no signs of slowing down. So much so that the market share for everyone else is shrinking—which may be why there’s one less competitor in this category at the end of 2021.

The Auvik take

That whopping two-thirds of the market that belongs to Cisco is going to be tough to compete with. However, there are a number of “Other” vendors (those outside the top ten) that may see growth in the future. This is because SD-WAN is continuing to replace traditional routers, and most of the SD-WAN vendors are in the “Other” segment.

Firewalls

SonicWall’s Global Management System (GMS) has been ported to the cloud, which now allows users to centrally deploy and manage their firewalls. This feature alone may be the reason the brand has continued to dominate the firewall category.

The Auvik take

It’s significant to note that Meraki is also showing strong growth in this field, especially on larger (200+ devices) networks.

MSPs

The Auvik take

An interesting finding: when networks are managed by MSPs, there tends to be very little variation in vendors. Only 10% of MSP-managed networks tend to deploy products from more than three brands. Larger networks tended to be more diverse in vendor distribution, but even then, only by one or two additional brands.


Diversity in network composition can be a good thing. And consistency can also be favorable. The results of the 2021 Network Vendor Diversity Report illustrate how the number of players in the network device vendor market continues to grow, but the diversity of vendors chosen by network admins and engineers hasn’t caught up. Cisco once again maintains a good share of the market, but all vendors in every category are still showing signs of life, and some may grow closer to the lead in coming years.

This year’s report also contained distribution of router market share by geography, and an analysis of router vendors outside the top ten in the market. Future editions of this report will have even more data and more points of analysis to dig into.

Want to dig into the results yourself? Review the full report and share your thoughts below!

Get your free 14-day Auvik trial here.

Rebecca Grassing

About Rebecca Grassing

Rebecca is a full-time writer on the Auvik marketing team. When she’s not writing content for Auvik she loves to create short stories, draw comics, and explore new formats, constantly flexing her creative muscles to prepare for the author olympics (okay, maybe she made that last part up).


Leave a comment

Got something to say? Name and email are required, but don't worry, we won't publish your email address.

*