Data Centre


Farewell, slumping 40Gbps Ethernet, we hardly knew ye

IDC's network tracker finds 100 Gbps and software-defined kit surging, at Cisco's expense

By Richard Chirgwin


Analyst firm IDC reckons the world's Ethernet switch market laid on 3.3 per cent growth year-on-year for the first quarter of 2017, up to US$5.66 billion.

At the same time, however, the service provider router market bore out what you'd expect if you've been watching Cisco's indifferent performances of late – it slipped by 3.7 per cent year-on-year to $3.35 billion.

Switchzilla's Ethernet switch market share bled 3.9 per cent year-on-year to 55.1 per cent, with Juniper and Arista increasing their presence in the space to 4.3 per cent (up from 3.2 per cent in Q1 2016) and 5.1 per cent (up from 3.9 per cent) respectively.

Juniper also expanded its share of the service provider routing business to 15.6 per cent, up year-on-year from 14.5 per cent.

Huawei also took share in the router business from Cisco, growing from 18.8 per cent of the market in Q1 2016 to 19.8 per cent in 2017. Its slice of Ethernet switching also rose from 3.9 per cent to 6.3 per cent in the same period (with an aberration in the Q4 2016, when big deliveries got the Chinese vendor close to 10 per cent of the segment).

The relatively rosy switch business is riding on shipping more and faster ports, IDC reckons, driven by the cloud and data centre markets.

Port speed Revenue change year-on-year Port shipment change year-on-year
1 Gbps -0.5 per cent +11.0 per cent
10 Gbps -1.6 per cent +23.9 per cent
40 Gbps -7.2 per cent -21.9 per cent
100 Gbps +323.5 per cent +776.4 per cent

Revenue in most speed classes declined in spite of mostly-growing port shipments – but with the advent of 100 Gbps kit, 40 Gbps switches are unloved both in revenue and port shipments. ®

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