Okay, I know it sounds a little dramatic… but it’s true.

Over the last four months, Forrester Analysts Andre Kindness (@AndreKindness) and Lauren Nelson (@Lauren_E_Nelson) evaluated providers of data center networking and hosted private cloud solutions. Andre got dirty in the plumbing (uhh, I mean networking), and Lauren had her head in the clouds. Each report represents months of vendor and customer interviews, demos, and analysis. In short, they did the heavy lifting so you don’t have to.

So what did they find?

While there are no “Leaders” – there are a number of "Strong Performers" and "Contenders." This means that if you’re thinking of investing in infrastructure that your increasingly digital business will run on, you will have to make tradeoffs. Here are a few highlights of each report:

  • Forrester’s Data Center Networking Wave™: Andre evaluated the eight most significant vendors across 85 criteria — Alcatel-Lucent, Arista Networks, Avaya, Brocade Communications Systems, Cisco Systems, Extreme Networks, HP, and Juniper Networks. Andre's assessment of the vendors' current offerings evaluated the completeness of each vendor’s solution to support a scalable, secure, standardized, shared, and simplified platform that would connect users to applications and data within a data center.
  • Forrester’s Hosted Private Cloud Wave™: Lauren evaluated the eight most significant providers across 25 criteria — CSC, GoGrid, Hexagrid Computing, Joyent, Rackspace, Savvis, SoftLayer Technologies, and Virtustream. Lauren's assessment of the vendors' current offerings evaluated self-service access, multi-data-center options, upfront configuration options, automation capabilities, customer experience, security, and monitoring capabilities.

Use these Forrester Waves™ if you’re actively evaluating vendors, developing an RFP, or brainstorming requirements. And don’t forget to download the Wave™ Excel model within each report for detailed product evaluations and customizable rankings.

Question: What do you think? Do you have any experiences with these solutions and vendors you'd like to share with your peers?

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