Huawei Surges, Cisco Recovers in Ethernet Switch Sales

By Edward Gately

Partners can find good news in a new report that says global Ethernet switch sales surged 5 percent last year over 2013, reaching $21.7 billion, as applications placed increasing demand on network infrastructure.

That’s according a new report by Infonetics Research. The Ethernet switch market has hit annual record highs since 2010.

Infonetics’ fourth-quarter 2014 and year-end report tracked unmanaged, Web-managed and fully managed fixed and chassis switches by port speed (100ME, 1GE, 10GE, 40GE, 100GE).

“2014 was another solid year for Ethernet switches,” said Matthias Machowinski, Infonetics’ directing analyst for enterprise networks and video. “The one weakness was 10GE, where revenue growth has essentially stalled as large data center operators migrate to 40GE and mainstream enterprises have yet to widely adopt 10GE. As a result, 40GE is the key growth segment right now, but we expect this to last only another one to two years, after which 25GE and 100GE technology takes over.”

Even though 10GE switch revenue is slowing, port shipments grew 27 percent last year, driven by data-center upgrades, server virtualization and network build-outs.

Huawei saw its Ethernet switch revenue jump 72 percent last year over 2013 as it built out its channel, increased brand awareness and expanded into Europe. Overall, China drove growth in the market, with revenue there up 17 percent.

The report also revealed that 40GE port shipments nearly tripled, while revenue at least doubled in 2014; and 100GE ports grew more than sixfold last year, supported by the arrival of 100GE on fixed switches and the introduction of low-cost optics that will continue to drive demand this year and beyond.

“White box” switches, those built by original equipment manufactures and original design manufacturers, and sold directly to end-users, are seeing success with large Web services and content providers like Google and Amazon.

Cisco continued its recovery, growing its Ethernet switch sales by 1 percent in the fourth quarter and achieving small year-over-year growth.

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