The increasing virtualization of enterprise networks is predicted to fuel a 14 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the global data center Ethernet switch market through 2016, according to a new report from TechNavio.
At the same time, declining equipment prices could throw cold water on that aggressive prediction, the research firm warned.
Key vendors in the market include Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), judged TechNavio. Other vendors examined in the report include Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Avaya, Brocade (Nasdaq: BRCD), Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), Enterasys Networks, Extreme Networks (Nasdaq: EXTR), Huawei and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL).
Dell'Oro Group believes the transition in the data center to next generation architectures is spurring growth in the high-speed Ethernet switches, particularly 10 gigabit, 40 gigabit and 100 gigabit Ethernet.
"The data center remains in the early stages of migration towards 10 Gigabit Ethernet for server access. At the same time, the core in the data center is seeing the need for additional bandwidth which is necessitating the need for higher speeds. The ecosystem in the data center now comprises four different speeds. We see this as an opportunity for vendors to differentiate by optimizing their product sets for different types of networks," commented Alan Weckel, vice president at Dell'Oro Group.
Dell'Oro agrees with TechNavio that Cisco, HP, IBM and Juniper are leading vendors in this market, but adds Brocade, Dell and Extreme Networks to the list of top vendors.
And in a report released this week, Crehan Research predicts the data center switch market will approach $16 billion by 2017, with Ethernet becoming an increasing portion of the market. Crehan too sees strong growth in the 10 gigabit, 40 gigabit and 100 gigabit Ethernet switches.
As enterprise data centers continue to require more and more bandwidth, demand for higher speed Ethernet switches will increase apace.