The worldwide Ethernet switch market posted record revenues of $6.06 billion during the fourth quarter of 2011, representing 5.5% year-over-year and 1.2% sequential growth, according to a new report from IDC. However, the research firm noted that the worldwide router market declined 2.3% year-over-year during the final three months of last year.
The results, which were part of IDC’s “Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Networks Tracker,” showed strong Ethernet switch market growth in Latin America (29.0%), Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA Region: 11.9%) and in the Asia-Pacific region (8.4%). On the other hand, the North American market declined 2% after a very strong third quarter.
“The market recovery in the second half of 2011 is very encouraging for the enterprise networking market, with most market segments and regions making a contribution,” explained Rohit Mehra, director of Enterprise Communications Infrastructure at IDC.
“With gigabit Ethernet having recovered to a growth trajectory, and with 10GbE and 40GbE expected to drive incremental growth in data center and campus core deployments, the Ethernet switch market is expected to show moderate growth in 2012,” Mehra added.
The worldwide Ethernet layer 2/3 switch market in 2011 was essentially flat over 2010, with revenues of $21.1 billion, while the worldwide router market performed better, posting 5.7% growth over 2010.
10GbE switch (layer 2/3) revenue increased 32.9% year-over-year, and 5.1% sequentially. 10GbE port shipments grew to a record 2.8 million ports in the quarter. For the full year 2011, 10GbE market revenues grew 26.5% over 2010, while port shipments more than doubled during the same period, according to IDC.
The firm added that the worldwide router market increased 7.3% quarter-over-quarter, but was down 2.3% year-over-year. This was a solid result considering the exceptional market results experienced in 4Q10, IDC stated.
Regionally, 16.6% growth in Latin America and the 15.1% increase in Asia-Pacific were offset by a decline in both North America and EMEA, which were down 16.4% and 3.7% year-over-year respectively in 4Q11.
From a vendor perspective, Cisco’s Ethernet switch (layer 2/3) market share in 4Q11 came in at 64.3%, reflecting a significant improvement from earlier in the year. On a relative basis, Cisco continues to be strong in the 10GbE segment where it had 69.5% of the market at the end of 2011.
The strong market performance during the fourth quarter of 2011 was significant in the sense that it helped the Ethernet switch market finish the year on a positive note with port shipments increasing 14.2% over 2010, Petr Jirovský, senior research analyst in IDC’s Networking Trackers Group, said.