Cisco, Juniper See Gains in Ethernet Switch Market: Dell'Oro, IDC

The Ethernet switch market saw strong gains in 2010, according to Dell'Oro and IDC. Juniper was a beneficiary, while Cisco kept its market share lead, the analysts said.

The Ethernet switching market saw record revenues and port shipments in 2010 as it recovered from the battering of the global recession, according to market research firm Dell'Oro Group.

According to a report March 1, revenue in L2 and L3 switching hit almost $20 billion in 2010, a 30 percent year-over-year jump, according to the analysts. Juniper Networks had the strongest surge, Dell'Oro said, followed by Dell, Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard.

"The Ethernet switch market surged in 2010 as enterprise and small businesses rebounded from economic weakness in 2009 and the data center continued to expand rapidly," Alan Weckel, director of Ethernet switch market research at Dell'Oro, said in a statement. "Given the strength and record levels achieved in 2010, we believe that the overall Ethernet switch market will remain flat in 2011, as growth in the data center will be offset by price erosion and increased competition for enterprise and small business spending."

Dell'Oro analysts also said that while both 1 Gigabit Ethernet and 10GbE saw revenue gains, future growth will come out of 10GbE, particularly from deployments in the data center of top-of-rack, blade and modular switches. The top six 10GbE vendors are Brocade Communications Systems, Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM and Juniper, the firm said.

Dell'Oro's findings mirror those of market research firm IDC, which said in a Feb. 24 report that revenues in the worldwide Ethernet switch space grew 28.1 percent in 2010, with that growth coming from all regions and product segments of the market.

The fourth quarter in 2010 was a good one, with revenue rising 13.4 percent over the same period last year, but it wasn't as strong as the first three quarters of 2010, each of which saw more than 30 percent growth. In the fourth quarter, revenues in the Ethernet switch market were $5.35 billion.

For the year, revenues came in at $21.1 billion, according to IDC.

"The fourth quarter was a moderately good quarter as a follow on to three quarters of better than 30% growth in the Ethernet switch market," "Growing 13.4% year over year, but staying relatively flat over the previous quarter, the Ethernet switch market had revenues of $5.35 billion in the fourth quarter (4Q10) and $21.1 billion for the full year 2010.

"IDC believes that 4Q10 was a quarter of market consolidation after the strong growth from previous quarters," Rohit Mehra, director of IDC's Enterprise Communications Infrastructure unit, said in a statement. "Although the underlying factors that drove growth in the first three quarters of 2010 still look favorable, IDC expects that overall market growth will be more moderate in 2011."

Cindy Borovick, vice president of IDC's Enterprise Communications Infrastructure and Datacenter Networks businesses, said that more than 1.1 million 10GbE ports shipped in the fourth quarter, with deployments in data centers and campuses accelerating. While 10GbE revenues grew 4.2 percent over the third quarter, it jumped 57.3 percent compared with the fourth quarter in 2009.

Cisco's overall Ethernet switch market share was 66.2 percent in the fourth quarter, a slight drop from 67 percent in the prior quarter but up a bit from the 65.3 percent in the same period the previous year, according to the IDC analysts.