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IDC: Network equipment market on the rise

By Donna Donowitz
March 2, 2011
The network equipment market experienced rapid growth in 2010 and is expected to continue expanding in 2011, according to a recent study.

The study, called Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Networks Tracker, was published by research firm IDC and indicated overall growth of approximately 28.1 percent in the Ethernet switch market in 2010.

The network router market also expanded significantly in 2010, reaching a growth rate of approximately 17.8 percent, according to the study.

While year-over-year growth in the Ethernet switch market remained strong throughout the entire year, the final quarter saw the slowest expansion.

"The fourth quarter was a moderately good quarter as a follow on to three quarters of better than 30 percent growth in the Ethernet switch market," said Rohit Mehra, director of enterprise communications infrastructure for IDC.

According to Mehra, the market grew 13.4 percent year-over-year in the final quarter, but stayed flat relative to the third quarter of 2010.

Total revenue for the worldwide Ethernet switch market reached approximately $5.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010. Revenue for the entire year was approximately $21.1 billion, according to the study.

According to Mehra, the final quarter of 2010 was "a quarter of market consolidation after the strong growth from previous quarters." IDC believes the factors that contributed to growth in 2010 continue to look favorable, but nevertheless predicts that "overall market growth will be more moderate in 2011," Mehra said.

The study also reported moderate growth in the Ethernet router market. In the fourth quarter of 2010, the market experienced year-over-year growth of 22 percent, while it grew 13.9 percent over the previous quarter, according to the study.

Cindy Borovick, vice president of enterprise communications infrastructure and data center networks at IDC, described the market trends in 2010 as "very encouraging for the enterprise networking market."

According to Borovick, most segments of the network market contributed to the sector's growth. "More than 1.1 million ports shipped in 4Q10 as 10GbE adoption in data centers and campus deployments continues to accelerate," Borovick said.

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Networks Tracker is published seven weeks after close of every calendar quarter. The study includes data on the Ethernet router and switch markets, organized by a variety of criteria, including vendor, layer, deployment, class, speed and average pricing.


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