Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for Data Center and Cloud Networking: Key Takeaways

Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for Data Center and Cloud Networking: Key Takeaways

Tech analyst house Gartner, Inc. recently released the 2020 version of its Data Center and Cloud Networking Magic Quadrant. Gartner describes data center and cloud networking “data center and cloud networking hardware and software for enterprises that procure and manage their own data center networking infrastructures for installation on-premises or in co-location facilities.”

The Magic Quadrant lists 11 different data center and cloud networking vendors and highlights their hardware and software offerings, their strong suits, and their weaknesses. Gartner then measures each vendor on both the completeness of their vision and their ability to execute. From these measurements, the vendors are placed into one of four categories: Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries, and Niche Players. The 11 data center and cloud networking vendors in this year’s Magic Quadrant are Arista Networks, Cisco, Cumulus Networks, Dell EMC, Extreme, H3C, HPE (Aruba), Huawei, Juniper Networks, NVIDIA-Mellanox Technologies, and VMware.

At Solutions Review, we read the Magic Quadrant report, available here, and pulled out the key takeaways in the data center networking space, including vendor positions and where the data center networking market is headed.

Gartner named three vendors to the Leaders quadrant for this report: Cisco, Arista Networks, and Juniper Networks. Gartner predicts that Cisco will make continued investments to expand analytics and assurance, as well as its multicloud offerings, to continue as a strong candidate for data center/cloud networking. Arista has deep rooted expertise and a solid product portfolio for large enterprises, and Gartner says that Arista’s roadmap for cloud-managed data center networks aligns with emerging customer needs. Finally, Juniper gained specific praise from the analysts at Gartner for the vendor’s automation capabilities. The sole Challenger in the report, Huawei, currently leads the global market of combined data center port shipments and has extremely cost-effective switching products compared to other vendors.

VMware, Dell EMC, Cumulus Networks, and HPE (Aruba) are the four Visionaries in the report. VMware has a strong Amazon Web Services (AWS)-like cloud networking experience, though Gartner noted that migrating to its newest data center solution is more difficult than it should be. Dell EMC ranked highly in reference surveys on customer service and support and has driven the market for open networking. Cumulus was acquired by NVIDIA in June 2020, so its position in the market may shift in the future, but for now, Gartner commended its DevOps and network infrastructure as code capabilities. Lastly, Aruba, a subsidiary of HPE, features a roadmap well-aligned with the

Rounding out the report are the three niche players: NVIDIA-Mellanox Technologies, Extreme Networks, and H3C. NVIDIA acquired Mellanox Technologies earlier this year; the vendor has a strong portfolio for VSLAN and high-performance workloads. Gartner noted that Extreme’s support quality dropped over previous years, but the company still offers solid cloud-managed networking capabilities. At last, we come to H3C, a vendor with primary operations in China and an interest in investing heavily into artificial intelligence and machine learning-powered networking features.

Download the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center and Cloud Networking here.


Looking for a solution to help you improve your network performance? Our Network Monitoring Buyer’s Guide contains profiles on the top network performance monitor vendors, as well as questions you should ask providers and yourself before buying.

Check us out on Twitter for the latest in Network Monitoring news and developments!

Daniel Hein

Dan is a tech writer who writes about Enterprise Cloud Strategy and Network Monitoring for Solutions Review. He graduated from Fitchburg State University with a Bachelor's in Professional Writing. You can reach him at dhein@solutionsreview.com
Daniel Hein