Infonetics Research has just released its Q1 2010 Data Center Network Equipment market share and forecast report, and if youve been following all the hype surrounding cloud services, the results arent surprising. Covering Ethernet switches, application delivery controllers and WAN optimization appliances worldwide across more than 30 vendors, the report found that the overall data center Ethernet switch market (including general purpose, purpose-built and blade switches) grew by 16 percent to $1.16 billion for Q1 2010, building on a strong showing in Q4 2009. The biggest winner in the equipment segment was Cisco, which saw a revenue spike of 23.5 percent from Q4 to Q1.
Even more impressively, the application delivery controller market, a critical piece of the cloud services puzzle since it optimizes WAN connectivity to ensure QoS levels necessary for hosted applications, appears to be back to its usual robust self. On the heels of a lackluster showing last year, worldwide sales were up by 28 percent over Q1 2009. Interestingly, F5, long a leader in Layer 7 switching, now outpaces Cisco by almost 20 percentage points, after running roughly neck and neck with Cisco back in 2007 and 2008.
Of the three product categories, WAN optimization showed the least impressive results, with only one vendor Blue Coat showing revenue growth, an increase of 7 percent.
We saw a 30 percent sequential jump in purpose-built switch sales in the first quarter of 2010, with Cisco a driving market force with their Nexus switch line, said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise voice and data at Infonetics Research. Healthy annual growth is expected to continue in this segment because these switches better address the requirements of the next-generation data center, including LAN/SAN convergence, reliability, and high performance.