Dell'Oro Group analysts in February predicted the Ethernet switching space would continue to expand in 2010, fueled in large part by the growing demand for 10 Gigabit Ethernet technology both as a connectivity technology for servers and as an aggregation tool in data centers.
Numbers from the third quarter appear to be fulfilling that prediction.
In a report released Dec. 2, Dell'Oro analysts said the Ethernet switch market hit record levels in the third quarter for both revenue and port shipments. Revenues jumped 33 percent over the third quarter in 2009, according to the report. Alan Weckel, director of Ethernet switch market research at Dell'Oro, expects the 10GbE trend to continue into next year.
"10 Gigabit Ethernet and data center switches continue to drive most of the revenue growth in the Ethernet Switch market," Weckel said in a statement. "While we expect overall market growth to slow considerably in 2011, we expect data center products will continue to expand in 2011, led by 10 Gigabit Ethernet as it continues to grow not only as a server connectivity technology, but also as an aggregation technology within the data center."
Dell'Oro analysts said Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard and Juniper Network added the most revenue in L2-L3 switching during the quarter. For its part, F5 Networks added the most incremental revenue in L4-7 server load balancing, the report said.
Most of the revenue growth in the market is coming from deployments in data centers, particularly 10GbE top-of-rack environments for server access. Dell'Oro analysts expect that the majority of revenue growth in 2011 in the Ethernet switch market will come from such products, and from a wide range of vendors, including Arista Neworks, Blade Networks, Brocade Communications Systems, Cisco, Dell, Extreme Networks, Force 10 Networks, HP and Juniper.