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Cisco drags down the Ethernet switch market, routers grow a little

Switch to higher speeds also depresses 10 Gbps Ethernet

The Ethernet market remains limp, with IDC's first-quarter data showing a mere 1.4 per cent increase compared with the first quarter of 2015.

By contrast, the number-cruncher reckons the router market expanded by a still-disappointing 3.3 per cent.

The only Ethernet geography to show double-digit growth was the Asia Pacific, IDC's quarterly Ethernet tracker data shows, at 13.2 per cent, while the USA's 4.2 per cent led the North American region to a 3.3 per cent increase.

Partly, IDC says, price erosion in the 10 Gbps market is to blame, with the world gearing up for 25/50/100 Gbps Ethernet shipments. Hence the 10 Gbps market rose just 1.2 per cent year-on-year to US$2 billion for the quarter, while the 40 Gbps segment added 29.8 per cent in spite of per-port price falls.

The 40 Gbps market seems to be a harbinger of the need for speed, adding 32.9 per cent year-on-year to $679.6 million, and its 1.8 million ports shipped in the quarter was more than double the first quarter of 2015, up by 112 per cent.

In the router business, a 4.9 per cent increase in service provider routers offset a 1.6 per cent decline in the value of the enterprise router business compared to Q1 of 2015.

The table below shows IDC's assessment of key vendors in the switch business.

Vendor Q1 2015 in millions Q1 2016 in millions Change (%)
Cisco $3,366.00 $3,231.00 -4.01%
HP Enterprise $450.00 $532.00 18.22%
Arista $160.00 $212.00 32.50%
Huawei $159.00 $212.00 33.33%
Juniper $187.00 $174.00 -6.95%
Others $1,079.00 $1,117.00 3.52%

HP Enterprise will be pleased with its increase, while Arista and Huawei, minnows by comparison to Cisco, both topped 30 per cent sales increases.

Cisco accounts for the bulk of the decline in the Ethernet switch market. The Borg shed $135 million quarter-on-quarter, while the growth in HPE, Arista and Huawei combined was just $187 million. ®

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