Market Insight

RESEARCH NOTE - Microsegmentation to Play Bigger Role in Data Center Security

December 28, 2016

Jeff Wilson Jeff Wilson Chief Analyst, Cybersecurity Technology

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Following is information and insight from IHS Markit about our 2016 Cloud and Data Center Security Strategies and Vendor Leadership Global Service Provider Survey.


  • Service provider respondents to IHS Markit’s security study favor a multi-layered approach when it comes to deploying security in their data centers
  • Respondents indicated that deployments of microsegmentation will grow the fastest of any security solution through 2017
  • Arbor Networks and Juniper are the top security suppliers installed among those surveyed, while F5, Fortinet, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Palo Alto Networks lead the list of vendors under evaluation for future purchases

Our Analysis

When security architects look to solve the data center security problem, they have a long list of technology and business requirements to satisfy, but their product choices tend to settle into four groups: high performance hardware, virtual appliances, traditional server software and network-embedded security solutions.

Respondents to our cloud and data center security strategies study told us about their basic strategies for deploying security in their data centers. They clearly favor a multi-layered approach, with most respondents already deploying a mix of all types of security products. Microsegmentation, network-embedded solutions and the just-emerging class of security solutions for container environments show the most growth, but only because virtual and hardware appliances are already ubiquitous.

In particular, respondents expect deployments of microsegmentation security solutions—where each device has its own set of forwarding rules—to grow from 36 percent today to 75 percent in 2020.

As always in security, vendors need the broadest possible offering to catch the most customers. For a truly integrated offering combining all types of solutions, vendor choices are limited (Cisco and Juniper come to mind primarily). This means that we expect consolidation in the form of partnerships and M&A among the key players in this space in an attempt to round out offerings.

In an open-ended question, we asked respondents to name the suppliers whose network security products they use now, and which suppliers they are evaluating for purchase by the end of 2017.

Over half of respondents have Arbor and Juniper in place. Arbor is far and away the leading DDoS prevention product vendor. And while Arbor doesn’t yet have a diverse security product offering for providers—though it is working on it—it is the gold standard for high-end carrier-grade distributed denial of service (DDoS) prevention. Juniper does well because it has put nearly all its product and positioning eggs (for security) in the cloud/data center basket, and its presence as a major network infrastructure—and now software-defined networking (SDN)—supplier for cloud-inclined customers helps as well.

Meanwhile, F5, Fortinet, HPE and Palo Alto Networks led the list of vendors under evaluation for future purchases.

Cloud and Data Center Survey Synopsis

For the 26-page 2016 data center and cloud security survey, IHS Markit interviewed 26 global service providers about their strategies for deploying security in the data center. The study provides insights into data center and cloud security drivers, requirements, spending plans, deployments, suppliers and more, and features operator ratings of 10 vendors (Arbor, Check Point, Cisco, F5, Fortinet, Intel Security, Juniper, Palo Alto Networks, Trend Micro and VMware) on 11 criteria.


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