Whether you inherit an IT environment or build it from scratch, managing your clients’ network infrastructure can be a real headache.

Keeping clients’ network devices functioning so they stay connected and productive requires complex manual tasks, expensive expertise, and tons of valuable time—that is, if you don’t use software to simplify and automate network management activities.

To add another layer of complexity, Auvik’s new industry report, Managing Network Vendor Diversity: The MSP Challenge, finds nearly three-quarters of MSPs manage more than four different network vendors on their client sites, with some managing upwards of 20.

The trouble is, there’s little industry standardization in terms of how network devices operate or are managed, and a high diversity of devices means MSPs must grapple with multiple operating systems, languages, and interfaces. It’s also difficult to find and train staff to knowledgeably support a variety of vendors.

But if your client sites have network equipment from multiple vendors, you’re certainly not alone. With nearly three-quarters of MSPs managing four or more vendors and only 5.3% managing single-vendor environments, the data shows vendor diversity is the norm.

network vendor diversity per MSP Auvik industry data report 2018

Source: Auvik Networks

The most popular network vendors

Despite this high degree of vendor diversity, Cisco is the most commonly deployed networking vendor on MSP-managed networks by a fairly large margin. Including the numbers for Cisco-owned Meraki, Cisco devices make up 36.4% of deployed network hardware.

The top nine most commonly deployed vendors claim around 80% of the total market, leaving dozens and dozens of smaller vendors to fight over what’s left. At least 40 vendors compete in each network device category—switch, router, firewall, and Wi-Fi access point.

top network hardware vendors MSP Auvik industry report 2018

Source: Auvik Networks

The report—based on data from close to 100,000 managed network devices on nearly 17,000 MSP-managed networks—shows the larger the MSP, the more network vendors it’s likely to manage on client sites.

To learn more, download the free report called Managing Network Vendor Diversity: The MSP Challenge.