Top 20 Competitors of Cisco


What is Cisco?

Cisco is a US-based Information Technology (IT) corporation which provides networking solutions to its clients. Founded in 1984 by computer scientists Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner, the company quickly grew in popularity as it was the first to use Local Area Network (LAN) in linking distant computers. Since then, the corporation has continued to expand by adding innovative software, hardware, and telecommunications solutions to their services. Nowadays, Cisco is the world-leader in networking as 85% of the Internet’s traffic runs through their products and systems.

How the Company Makes Money

Cisco earns its profits by commercializing and manufacturing networking products and services to connect its clients to the internet. According to, the company has 4 operating segments: Infrastructure Platforms, Applications, Security, and Services.

Infrastructure Platforms

The company’s main source of revenue comes from selling fundamental networking technologies such as switches, routers, applications and other wired and wireless products. These systems help in optimizing connection speed and accessibility, especially in multiple computer set-ups in buildings, businesses, and campuses. Notable products that the company offers are the ISR 4000 routers, 2960 switches, and ASA 5506 firewalls.


Cisco also offers applications to complement its hardware-based products. This software allows real-time exchange of data and information between multiple computers, phones, networks, servers and even establishments. The company is known for its Cisco TelePresence application which provides a collaborative experience through audio and video communication. They also offer various solutions for Internet Protocol phones, customer care optimization, and even mobile messaging.


Another way that Cisco makes money is through security-based products. These schemes include software, hardware and applications that can help protect enterprises and businesses from data breaches and hacks. They can come in the form of malware detection, cloud protection, and site filtration systems which are widely used in many industries nowadays.


Apart from the software and hardware that Cisco offers, they also take part in customer-oriented services. Cisco excels in technical consultation and support ventures, as they are the ones most capable of handling their products. They are known to provide maintenance and troubleshooting for other companies who make use of their system.

Overall, Forbes states that about 75% of Cisco’s profits come from their products, while the other 25% is attributed to their services. Today, Cisco is the top-selling network service provider globally.

Cisco’s Main Competitors

Being the leading networking service provider is not easy. With many emerging companies aiming for the top spot in the industry, competition is something that can’t be avoided. Here are the top contenders in the networking industry that offer the same services and products as Cisco.


Juniper, similar to Cisco, is a US-based networking company which aims to help businesses in optimizing connectivity, security, and accessibility. Founded by Pradeep Sindhu in 1996, the company currently has over 9,400 employees and 83 offices across the world. In 2018, Juniper reached a whopping $ 4.6 Billion in revenues, and stood toe to toe with Cisco in terms of growth rate.

Since its creation, Juniper has consistently remained as a powerhouse in the industry due to the impeccable speeds of its hardware. The routers and switches that they sell are specially built for less delays and higher performance compared to other products in the market.

Despite the challenges that their gigantic rival poses towards them, they still manage to capture the hearts of their clients as they do well in solving very difficult networking problems. Due to Juniper’s undying concern to provide their customers with a great service, the company stands strong as one of Cisco’s top competitor.

Aruba Networks

Aruba is a technology-driven networking company founded in 2002 and acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprises in 2015. They are one of the most unorthodox service providers in the industry, unafraid of taking new strategies such as their Airwave Technology that shocked the world due to its adaptability.

When Hewlett and Packard Enterprises gained ownership of Aruba, they integrated Intelligent Edge into their systems. Intelligent Edge is a data analysis method which aims to optimize a business by analysing data on-site instead of sending it to a third-party center. Through Edge, Aruba Networks became a recognized networking company in terms of security, as risks of data breaches became lesser. This led to a growth in the company’s revenues especially in terms of wireless and wired infrastructure.

With switches and routers that offer fast and secure connections, Aruba Networks remains one of Cisco’s main competitors. As a company that steers away from traditional methods and leans more towards new and innovative processes, Aruba will surely stay in the networking industry.


Huawei is a large technology company founded in the heart of China. Created by Ren Zhengfei, the corporation owns various ventures relating to communications and they are not afraid to extend to other products as well. Today, Huawei takes part in production of communication devices (laptops, computers, smartphones, accessories) and carrier products (wireless and wired networks, information technology systems and cloud-based connections).

In 2018, the company reached a jaw-dropping $103 billion revenue in all of its product offerings. More than half of this profit comes from network-based products for personal and commercial use. Commonly subscribed products of Huawei are cloud computing systems such as the OceanStor Dorado which is gaining popularity in today’s businesses.

Over the years, Huawei has built more than 1000 networks for its clients, and this number will only increase as time passes by. Because of their competitiveness and tendency to try new products and services, Huawei will continue to be Cisco’s top competitor.

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprises

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprises is an international company that prides itself on serving 830,000 clients across the globe. Founded in 1919, the group started as a telephone company and through it, they gained a century of experience in providing customers with high-end communication products. Nowadays, the company offers reliable data management systems through effective network infrastructures and cloud-computing systems.

With an outcome-based approach in their products, they aim to strike the needs of specific businesses to provide them a service tailored towards their needs. Alcatel-Lucent excels in flexibility, as they are able to serve both small businesses and large-scale companies.

In 2013, Alcatel-Lucent gained ownership of Nuage Networks, and this helped boost its cloud-connection capabilities. This enabled them to gain leverage in the industry, since cloud-computing is considered as an emerging and in-demand networking service.

As a seasoned company in the industry, the company never fails to satisfy clients. Their experience allowed them to remain on top, and they are constantly improving through the years. Because of Alcatel-Lucent’s ability to remain trustworthy, reliable, and resourceful, they are considered as Cisco’s top competitors.


Arista is another US-based company founded by ex-Cisco employee Jarshree Ullal. The company focuses on software oriented and cloud networking-based systems optimized for data centers and school environments. Arista prides itself on wide-range internet speeds that are reliable, secure, and adaptable.

The corporation is proud to produce and distribute 20 million cloud networking ports worldwide. Their processes are based on the EOS or Extensible Operating System which serves as the foundation of their platform. EOS is a tool that allows third-party development, giving access to tools, scripts, and supporting methods that other products do not offer. It also allows seamless repairs and extensibility for an enterprise's network, and this reduces lags and maximizes system activity.

The company receives countless awards every year due to the technological advancements that they develop. Arista never fails to bring new discoveries in the field of networking, and this is the reason why they are one of Cisco's main rivals.


VMware is a leading company in terms of providing digital solutions through cloud computing solutions and networking systems. Founded in 1998, the company has over 75,000 partners in different fields such as health, telecommunications, transportation and even governments. The company tailors new technologies to fit existing establishments. In 2019 alone, VMware reached revenues of almost $9 billion dollars through the software and hardware that they offer.

VMWare is steadily growing as a well-preferred company in the market. They are experiencing a steady rise in their revenues and sales, and they are expected to do better given that they continue to improve.

VMWare offers and develops top-selling products such as Horizon, ONE, Waveform, Player, Foundation, and Workstation. They are also recommended as the best virtualization company due to the adaptability that they offer. Because of these things, VMware remains a stronghold in the networking industry.


Riverbed is an Information Technology (IT) Networking company that prides itself in creating innovative software and hardware to optimize different types of networks in enterprises. Founded in 2002, the company offers digital solutions which mainly focus on business monitoring through different systems and processes. Riverbed places great emphasis on application performance, and through this, they help increase client productivity and security.

They offer an open-platform suitable for any type of business, be it big or small. Riverbed’s management solutions are top-notch, and they provide high-class analytics and transparency. Some famous companies that they serve are Bajaj, Maersk and Tecan. The company has strong credentials to back-up its reputation in the industry.

Due to their expertise in business optimization through software enhancement, Riverbed continues to be a good contender against Cisco. They provide unified solutions for business related problems, and because of this, they deserve a spot in the upper ranks of networking companies.


Netscout is a company that started in 1984 as an application-advising enterprise. Today, they stand strong as a leading DDoS and Advanced Threat solution provider in the market. They ensure that businesses will never succumb to the dangers of breaches and application failures through the network infrastructure and cloud systems that they offer.

The services and products that Netscout offers are mainly concerned with security issues. They deal with possible hacktivists and cyber criminals that may aim to disrupt your business routines. TO address these, they offer products such as the nGeniusOne and nGeniusPulse which are designed to monitor, discover, and map erratic behaviors in your system that may be caused by hostile acts.

Overall, the security services that Netscout offers in networking are top-notch and well-designed. Because of this, they remain a Cisco competitor especially in terms of security.

Extreme Networks

Extreme Network, similar to Cisco, is a Silicon Valley-based company which has many offices around North America, South America, Asia, Middle-east, and Europe. They offer collaborative solutions to solve networking issues with the use of their infrastructure and applications. The company offers high-end switches, routers, and wireless systems, as well as automation, analytics, and access control software.

Extreme Network pioneered the production of the 10 Gig-E switches, and it helped them achieve great standing in today’s networking industry. Currently operating in 80 countries worldwide, the company has 6,000 different partners, helping them serve more than 30,000 clients.

Extreme Network continues to offer diverse and customer-oriented services, and they have a unique technologies to compete with big-names in the market. Their remote, machine learning, campus fabric, and data center fabric systems keep them in the same league as Cisco, and this is why they deserve to be called a major competitor.


Dell is an international company that is famous for its production of high quality computer parts and services. Back then, they only focused on personal computers and laptop production. However, recent happenings enabled them to gain popularity in the networking industry.

In 2015, Dell acquired EMC and merged with them, resulting in a large company with over 150,000 employees. Since then, they have also gained additional Information Technology services relating to switches, routers, cloud-computing systems, analytics, and even virtualization.

Notable networking products that they offer are PowerSwitch and SmartFabric Director. Both of these allow seamless and hassle-free management of network systems suitable for different types of businesses. This helps accelerate sales and revenues as they automate tasks and digitize infrastructure. As they continue to deliver smart solutions in the field of networking, Dell/EMC will remain a major contender against Cisco.


When it comes to inter-company communication, Polycom is a name that deserves recognition. The company excels in providing high-fidelity audio and video conferencing solutions to various enterprises, and this can greatly help in increasing collaboration and connection between departments. The company believes in the “Power of Many”, and they always find ways to strengthen human connection in businesses.

Polycom offers Voice Over Internet Protocol phones and audio devices to improve audio connectivity. They also make use of Immersive Telepresence hardware and software to connect distant areas to each other. With content sharing, streaming, and data management integrated into their systems, reliability is assured in any establishment.

Due to the rising demand of their products such as RealPresence Studio and CCX 500, Polycom became a leading communication provider in network-based enterprises. As they continue to grow in terms of their product and influence, this company will always be considered as a Cisco competitor.


Microsoft is undoubtedly one of the largest computer-based companies in the world. With solutions related to operating systems, applications, and software, they remain to be on top of the virtual world, and they continue to satisfy the masses with the services and products that they offer. As they continue to aim for excellence in the field of communication, Microsoft also opened its doors to networking systems through Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft Azure offers global integration, network security, monitoring strategies, and reliable connections to their clients. Using different products such as Azure DNS, Azure Analytics, Azure Monitor, and Azure Watcher, the company is ready to provide clients what they need, when they need it.

Azure is founded on fiber-based technologies, so speed can never be questioned. With 17 software solutions dedicated to solving specific problems, a business’ connectivity and reliability will be guaranteed. Due to this, Microsoft and Microsoft Azure deserve a place as Cisco’s competitor.


Checkpoint, similar to Netspot, offers high-grade network security options to its clients. They serve businesses and governments worldwide, as they are capable of providing multilevel protection to their clients. The company is confident in its ability to provide solutions to every known network of attacks present today, and they do this through their Generation V threat protection that is able to preserve cloud systems, storage, and mobile operations.

Serving over 100,000 customers internationally, Checkpoint has 5,200 employees and is based in San Carlos, California. They have 75 offices scattered across the globe, and they aim to be a world-renowned network security provider. The company offers products relating to Cloud Network Security, Security Management, and Threat Prevention. They also offer an overall consolidated security called Checkpoint Infinity.

With many awards and accolades at their disposal, Checkpoint is able to compete with other network companies in terms of security. As they continue to expand their current 73 patents in the US, this company will remain as a strong contender against Cisco.


IBM or International Business Machines is a company known for creating the first computer systems. Founded in 1911, the company continues to be a leading computer product and service provider in today’s society. Aside from developing computer parts, they have also extended to network-based products such as cloud-computing and delivery networks.

IBM offers 8 different networking services for its clients. Most of them are cloud-based, and they put emphasis on connecting businesses on a global scale. They put great efforts into ensuring reliability, security, high availability and streamlined management systems. Similar to Azure, they have specific solutions to different problems to make sure that your needs are addressed.

Some products that the company offers are IBM Cloud Virtual, IBM Cloud Load Balancer, IBM Cloud Direct Link, and IBM Content Delivery Network. As the company continues to improve on its cloud-computing services, it will remain a good competitor against Cisco.


Broadcom is a technology company with roots in AT & T, Lucent, and Hewlett Packard Enterprises. Founded in 1960’s the company first started as a diode service provider. Over the years, it grew to a telecommunication powerhouse due to partnerships of various companies such as Broadcom, LSI, Symantec, and CA Technologies.

Today, Broadcom offers networking solutions through software and hardware products which aim to digitize and virtualize business enterprises. They have enterprise-based solutions such as Clarity PPM (for business management), AIOps (for business monitoring), Digital Business Automation (for business digitalization), and Merchant Risk Analytics as well as Identity Access Management (for cybersecurity).

The networking counterpart of Broadcom is called Brocade, and it offers global support for its clients. They also have many services that can be used to further optimize your enterprise. Because of the adaptability that they offer, Broadcom stands firm as a good competitor against Cisco.


Fortinet is another network security provider in the industry. They are responsible for government, enterprise, and business protection through the software that they offer. Over 450,000 customers trust Fortinet for their security and are able to address network, application, and cloud-based environments.

The company uses both Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology to address client’s needs. They take pride in combining these systems to create a unified process that can analyze 10 billion events for real-time threat identification. Because of this, the company is able to achieve excellent results in this industry.

Fortinet focuses on their range and automation in solving problems. With their main product Fortiguard, the company assures management, security, and accessibility within their client’s reach. In this system, cloud-infrastructure and open-fabrics are integrated, and this allows global usability,

Due to these advantages, Fortinet deserves a spot as a top Cisco competitor. Their security services are top-notch, and they can go toe-to-toe against big-names in the industry.


The networking industry may have many contenders and competitors, but Cisco remains on top of them. Because of the company’s dedication in providing innovative solutions to clients, it remains as the leading network service provider internationally. Cisco provides great products and services to everyone who desires to be integrated virtually through their software and hardware. As a company which survived the tests of time, Cisco continues to achieve its goals in the market.

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