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Ethernet Extender - Data Centers Serve as Growth Engine for Ethernet Switches
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May 08, 2012

Data Centers Serve as Growth Engine for Ethernet Switches

By Ashok Bindra
TMCnet Contributor


Although, customer requirements have always influenced manufacturers to incorporate new features into their Ethernet switch products, the migration of data centers toward 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) for server access has generated unique products optimized for the specific application. To assess the magnitude of Ethernet switch market for these and other deployments, research firm Dell' (News - Alert)Oro Group has created an advanced research report. Besides assessing the market, the report also provides a better understanding of vendor strengths and weaknesses and the drivers of growth behind a market that now exceeds $20 billion.

According to Alan Weckel, senior director at Dell'Oro Group, "We see intelligence moving back from the edge and into the data center core for easier management particularly as enterprises virtualize and outsource to the Cloud.  We believe this shift to be a fundamental transition and we predict that products deployed in the data center will be the growth engine of the Ethernet switch market over the next few years."

He further added, "Manufactures can no longer develop a switch for one customer deployment location and modify it into a second location and expect success.  Vendor shares will be affected by ever disparate requirements, forcing many vendors to specialize in only certain deployment locations or partner with other vendors to offer customers complete portfolios."

As per this report, the L2-3 Ethernet switch market is forecast to approach $28 billion in 2016, with future growth to be driven primarily by sales of Ethernet switches optimized for larger data center deployments. By 2016, 10 GbE in the Ethernet switch market is expected to comprise the majority of revenue. Also expected by 2016 is robust growth in 40 GbE and 100 GbE.

“We expect the Ethernet Switch market to experience two significant years of market growth in 2013 and 2014 from the migration of servers towards 10 GbE,” continued Weckel. “We believe that in 2013, most large enterprises will upgrade to 10 GbE for server access through a mix of connectivity options ranging from blade servers, SFP+ direct attach and 10G Base-T. We further anticipate that in 2014, small and medium businesses will upgrade to 10 GbE. Looking towards the second half of the decade, 40 GE and 100 GE switches will be an important growth driver for the Ethernet switch market,” stated Weckel.

Besides data centers, the other three main deployment locations for Ethernet switches include the  Enterprise (e.g., campus and branch office), small and medium businesses (SMBs), and carrier Ethernet services. Major Ethernet switch vendors discussed in the report include Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco (News - Alert), Dell, D-Link, HP, Huawei, IBM, Juniper, and NETGEAR.


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