Ethernet Switching and Routing Markets Still Growing

The Ethernet switching and routing markets are seeing gains this year, according to a pair of analyst reports.

According to IDC, the global Ethernet switch market had revenues of $5.9 billion for the third quarter of 2011. That translates into a 6.1 percent year-over-year growth rate and 10.9 percent sequentially. Infonetics Research has a different figure for the third quarter, pegging Ethernet switch sales at $5.0 billion.

10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) is helping to pave the way for growth as port deployments continue. IDC reported that 10 GbE port shipments grew by 99 percent to 2.09 million ports. Port growth has led to a 29.9 percent increase in 10 GbE switch revenues, according to IDC. Infonetics similarly reported a near doubling of 10GbE ports as data center upgrades and virtualization drive demand. Infonetics also noted that the 40 GbE market is starting to get going now too with third quarter 2011 revenues of $6.5 million.

While 10 GbE is growing so too is the shift away from Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps) to Gigabit Ethernet.

“In the broader Ethernet switching market, Gigabit Ethernet revenue increased 2.7 percent year over year and port shipments experienced strong growth of 27.1 percent as the transition from Fast Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet continues,” said Petr Jirovsky, senior research analyst in IDC’s Networking Trackers Group in a statement. “Gigabit Ethernet now commands a 61.6 percent share of the overall Ethernet switching market revenue and 46.9 percent of port shipments.”

Leading the overall Ethernet switching market according to both IDC and Infonetics is Cisco. According to Infonetics, Cisco has a 68 percent share of the overall Ethernet switching market. IDC noted that Cisco holds 73 percent of the market for 10 GbE.

“Rejuvenated competition in the Ethernet switching market has taken its toll on Cisco over the past year, but in 3Q11, Cisco turned things around with a blowout quarter, showing that their internal reorganization and more aggressive stance are starting to pay off,” Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research said in a statement. “

Machowinski noted that Cisco’s gains are coming at the expense of rival HP.

“It’s impossible to tell where things go from here, but at least for now, Cisco has changed the momentum,” Machowinski said.

Cisco is also leading in the global router market which is also continuing to grow. According to Infonetics, enterprise router sales hit $888 million for the third quarter of 2011, representing a 3 percent year-over-year growth rate.

By revenues, Cisco has a 74.2 percent global revenue share for routers, while HP and Juniper follow in second and third place.

Read the full story at Datamation:
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Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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