25 Hot Software-Defined Data Center Infrastructure Companies: 2022 SDDC 50

While the cloud continues to chart strong growth, reports of the death of on-prem architecture have proven to be premature.

Software-Defined Infrastructure Providers

The multi-cloud tsunami that is swirling around the data center environment is only growing, with nearly every vendor in the space staking out their ground as the must-have solution for the latest iteration of massive data set computing.

While the cloud continues to chart strong growth, reports of the death of on-prem architecture have proven to be premature. In fact, more than one vendor has noted a minor, but notable retreat of some workloads off the cloud, and back to the speed, and reliable cost of an on-premise data center.

As application builders employ larger, more complex data sets to build machine learning models the processing, storage, security and power demands of these enterprise workloads are only getting bigger.

Additionally, the lessons vendors learned during the COVID-19 pandemic around securing and provisioning thousands of remote environments through the cloud are not going away, as the work from home movement that was largely enabled by the data center, has not abated as quickly as the virus that caused it.

The software-defined data center vendors below are driven by automation, pooling resources and virtualization to make their customers’ environments more agile and flexible. The customer-buying trend toward data center infrastructure and software as-a-service is fueling growth in the hybrid cloud era.

Consolidation is also driving business decisions as massive players in hardware and software look to combinations that can unlock new value.

Here, CRN breaks down 25 software-defined data center infrastructure vendors that are shaping the new multi-cloud world.

Arista Networks

Top Executive: Jayshree Ullal, President, CEO

Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based maker of multi-layer switches for cloud, and data center introduced its converged ultra-low latency, highly programmable switches introduced its 7130 Series this month, packing several devices into the unit.

Arista says the 7130 series will slow financial market participants to compose multiple trading logic elements in highly scalable, low latency switching fabrics.


Top Executive: Hock Tan, CEO

Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.

Not just a semiconductor company anymore, the company has radically diversified under CEO Hock Tan, who took charge of buying CA Technologies followed by Symantec, and guided the potential merger with VMware. If the latter deal is successful, the newly created company would derive 49 percent of its revenue from software sales. That said, it has a long way to go to convince the channel it will do right by VMware, with wary partners eyeing the deal closely.

Cato Networks

Top Executive: Shlomo Kramer, Co-Founder, CEO

Headquarters: Alpharetta, Ga.

Tel Aviv-based networking specialists recently won $200 million in funding to dominate the secure access service edge (SASE) space, edging it closer to winning greater share in the $5.1 billion SASE market.

Cato said it has also simplified data center access control. Once the cloud networks are connected, access is managed by the company’s firewall-as-a-service, which has AD integrations for granular user and application control.

The company said this eliminates the need to deploy third party virtual firewalls.

The 400-person company was founded in 2015. It has raised $532 million in funding.


Top Executive: Chuck Robbins, CEO

Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.

With the leading networking product line up in the world, Cisco is positioned for growth through its portfolio of software-defined networking, switching, server, cloud and security data center portfolios

The company completed the acquisition of enterprise software firm Opsani to boost Cisco AppDynamics’ product and engineering team. The Opsani software is used to observe enterprise-scale, cloud-native environments.


Top Executive: Bob Calderoni, CEO, interim president

Headquarters: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

One of the more popular creators of virtual desktop infrastructure, SD-WAN, endpoint management, application delivery and analytics for security, Citrix has bet on new CEO Bob Calderoni to complete the company’s transformation into a leading cloud and software subscription platform.


Top Executive: Mohit Aron, CEO and founder

Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.

Cohesity, a data protection and data management technology developer, has a number of strategic relationships with fellow data center companies, including AWS, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Cisco and Pure Storage. As some businesses struggle to manage the cost of their existing data center infrastructures, Cohesity’s data management-as-a-service offering is aimed at bringing midsize businesses and enterprises new ways to back up, secure, analyze and govern data.

Dell Technologies

Top Executive: Michael Dell

Headquarters: Austin, Texas

Dell’s strategy revolves around building out multi-cloud offerings, with its data center products now partnering with giant public cloud rivals such as AWS and Microsoft Azure to provide users with the most flexibility for moving, storing and securing massive workloads wherever they reside, on prem, or in a public or private cloud.


Top Executive: Craig Arnold, CEO

Headquarters: Dublin, Ireland

The power supply juggernaut has spent $2.25 billion over the past two years buying electrical connectivity specialist Royal Power Solutions in January, and a year earlier pocketing its one-time rival Tripp Lite for $1.65 billion.

The $18 billion data center power provider has a vast portfolio of hardware and software management offerings—from UPSes and high-density PDUs to remote monitoring and software-defined power.

Extreme Networks

Top Executive: Ed Meyercord, CEO

Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.

The Cisco rival is knowns for its history of innovation in the networking arena using AI/ML as well as automation to drive outcomes.

The company’s broad array of network switches drove quarterly earnings that saw record bookings as well as software driven annual recurring revenue growth of 54-percent.

While supply chain woes have the company’s backlog for the quarter reaching $130 million, CEO Ed Meyercord told CRN he expects June will be the low point and supply looks better each month for the remainder of the year.

F5 Networks

Top Executive: Francois Locoh-Donou, President, CEO

Headquarters: Seattle

The Seattle-based maker of multi-cloud security management applications has 6,400 employee and annual revenues of $2.6 billion last year.

For more than 20 years, companies have used F5 to deliver their datacenter needs. Whether on-premises, hybrid, or in the public cloud, F5 provides solutions that meet the availability needs of customers. The company said 48 of the Fortune 50 use its products, including the world’s largest enterprises, financial institutions, service providers, and governments—in areas such as online fraud prevention, application delivery, networking, and access management.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Top Executive: Antonio Neri, CEO

Headquarters: Spring, Texas

The Spring, Texas company recently won a massive deal to supply Google Cloud’s distributed hybrid cloud with its GreenLake technology for on-premise cloud services. The agreement combines the Google Cloud stack with GreenLake for a seamless on-premises Google public cloud experience.

HPE says its entire Aruba CX switching portfolio delivers cutting edge hardware, intuitive management tools, and an operating system built on cloud-native design principles.

Hitachi Vantara

Top Executive: Gajen Kandiah

Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.

Hitachi Data Center outsourcing has custom private cloud and public cloud offerings, that help its customers manage applications, database, OS, infrastructure and network, cloud-based infrastructure as a service, license management, IT support and upgrades. Hitachi’s turnkey data center outsourcing solution comes with tailored application service level attributes at, what it describes as, an all-inclusive, predictable monthly fee.

The company recently won a massive deal with carmaker BMW to provide enterprise cloud storage and data management for the next six years.

Hitachi Vantara the digital infrastructure, data management and analytics, and digital solutions subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd. It works with about 80 percent of the Fortune 100 to develop new revenue streams, unlock competitive advantages, lower costs, enhance customer experiences, and deliver social and environmental value.

Juniper Networks

Top Executive: CEO Rami Rahim

Headquarters: Sunnyvale, Calif.

Juniper’s datacenter products are designed to boost reliability and reduce complexity in data centers of all scales, from centralized to edge locations. Juniper’s software, Apstra, automates the design, deployment, and operations of its customers’ data center network in multivendor environments. Apstra provides technicians with a “single source of truth” as well as, powerful analytics, and root-cause identification. Juniper switching, routing, and security platform work at the foundation of a network to deliver future-proof scalability, EVPN-VXLAN and IP fabric support, and threat prevention capabilities, the company said.

Founded in 1996, the company has 10,000 employees under the leadership of CEO Rami Rahim.

The company’s stated mission is to dramatically simplify networking operations, while driving a better experience for end users.


Top Executive: Yuanqing Yang, CEO

Headquarters: Morrisville, N.C. and Hong Kong

Whatever the data center need, Lenovo’s Infrastructure Solutions Group has an offering. Whether it is in storage, analytics, virtualization, backup and disaster recovery, or HPC software. Its portfolio of servers, storage and hyperconverged infrastructure – along with its TruScale Infrastructure Services – is giving the PC and infrastructure giant an edge in the data center product market.

The Quarry Bay, Hong Kong-based PC and server maker posted revenue of $71.62 billion last year as it races the likes of HP and Dell for dominance in datacenter hardware market.

The company, ranked 159 on the Global Fortune 100, has expanded beyond its PC roots, and now its 75,000 employees make products in networking, infrastructure, and services.


Top Executive: Christina Kosmowski, CEO

Headquarters: Santa Barbara, Calif.

LogicMonitor is a leading SaaS-based observability and IT operations data collaboration platform for enterprises and managed service providers. It is used by ITOps, CloudOps, DevOps, MSPs and business leaders to gain operational visibility across a modern technology array, and it is relied upon by companies to deliver top customer experiences.

LogicMonitor gives its customers full-stack visibility into networks, clouds and servers within a single unified view. In February of last year, LogicMonitor acquired Airbrake, a developer-centric application error and performance monitoring.


Top Executive: George Kurian, CEO

Headquarters: Sunnyvale, Calif.

The provider of hybrid cloud data services turns 30 years old this year. NetApp offers software for storage, data protection and management, virtual desktop infrastructure, artificial intelligence and application development. It employs 11,000 people and made $5.74 billion in revenue last year.

Project Astra is NetApp’s platform for providing persistent storage when managing Kubernetes data and applications. It simplifies how customers protect, move and store their Kubernetes workloads throughout hybrid and multi-cloud environments.


Top Executive: Rajiv Ramaswami, President, CEO

Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.

Nutanix says that organizations around the world use hyperconverged infrastructure software superstar’s software to leverage a single platform to manage any app at any location for their hybrid multi-cloud environments.

The seller of cloud software and hyper-converged infrastructure solutions posted revenue of $1.39 billion last year. Its employs 6,000 people who work creating, selling, and servicing the company’s line up of cloud services and software defined storage. The company offers a range of data center products including storage, database management, micro-segmentation, disaster recovery, data protection and hybrid cloud.

Palo Alto Networks

Top Executive: Nikesh Arora

Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based maker of cybersecurity solutions calls itself the world’s cybersecurity leader in delivering visibility, security controls to secure applications and data in hybrid cloud environments and data centers.

Founded in 2005, the company reached $4.3 billion in revenue last year. It has 11,000 employees who provide “next-gen cybersecurity to thousands of customers globally, across all sectors,” the company said.

Red Hat

Top Executive: Paul Cormier, CEO

Headquarters: Raleigh, N.C.

The IBM company is the leading provider of open-source enterprise software for high performance Linux, hybrid cloud, container and Kubernetes technologies. One of its products, Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® for Virtual Datacenters gives customers the ability to deploy unlimited guests in dense virtualized environments on supported hypervisors, such as Openshift Virtualization, Red Hat Virtualization, VMware, and Microsoft HyperV. Big blue acquired Red Hat in 2019 for $34 billion.

Scale Computing

Top Executive: Jeff Ready, CEO

Headquarters: Indianapolis, Ind.

Bringing HCI to the edge, Intel is now building servers with Scale Computing inside. The company is ready to meet the opportunities presented by the consolidation of its massive rival VMware, and to reinforce their position in the market. CEO Jeff Ready said Scale is poised for growth in 2022, as it looks to take advantage of unknowns around the 11-figure deal for VMware. The hyper modular build-outs that Ready makes can be set up in under an hour and are renown for their self-healing, low power consumption, and the ability to expand a network with zero downtime.

Schneider Electric

Top Executive: Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO

Headquarters: Boston

Schneider Electric offers uninterrupted power supplies to ensure data center uptime even in the event electricity loss. Additionally, its IoT-enabled EcoStruxure architectures around data center management, monitoring and managed power services give greater reliability to customers.

From the corporate data center to the network closet Schneider Electric says it offers solutions for new data centers or ones that upgrade retrofit, and right-size on-premise, hybrid architectures.


Top Executive: Charles Liang, Chairman, President, CEO

Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.

Supermicro offers solution providers multiple data center software offerings as well as a massive portfolio of servers, storage, networking, high-performance computing and hyperconverged infrastructure offerings. Its founder, Charles Liang, is a champion of making more green and sustainable data centers.

Supermicro is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. and employs 4,000. It posted revenue last year of $3.5 billion selling application-optimized IT solutions. The company said it is committed to delivering first to market innovation for Enterprise, Cloud, AI, and 5G Telco/Edge IT Infrastructure.

Veeam Software

Top Executive: Anand Eswaran, CEO

Headquarters: Columbus, Ohio

The privately-held leader in backup, recovery and data management provides offerings in a single platform for cloud, virtual, SaaS, Kubernetes and data center environments. Veeam said its products are used to protect more than 400,000 customers worldwide, including 82-percent of the Fortune 500.

Veeam Software provide backup and recovery offerings in a single platform for cloud, virtual, SaaS, Kubernetes and data center environments. With Veeam’s backup and replication services, customers can create image-level backups of virtual, physical and cloud machines and restore from them.


Top Executive: Rob Johnson, CEO

Headquarters: Columbus, Ohio

Vertiv has hardware, software, analytics and services to help vital applications to run continuously. The company recently signed a deal with Japanese telecom giant NTT to provide equipment and services supporting the NTT OneVision Center, a state-of-the-art hybrid-remote smart workspace for NTT Research, and other NTT Group companies. A Vertiv Liebert® EXM 100 kVA uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system with lithium-ion batteries provides backup power to the building’s IT equipment and other critical systems. Vertiv employs approximately 24,000 people and does business in more than 130 countries.


Top Executive: Rahgu Raghuram, CEO

Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.

The leading software provider in the global data center market is run, in some form, by nearly every IT department on the planet. The company’s goal of becoming the world leader for multi-cloud computing is still in play as the firm is absorbed by Broadcom if the recently announced deal is completed.