The networking market is not growing at a uniform rate, according to the latest set of market sizing forecasts from analyst firms.
IDC reported that the global Ethernet switch market had $5.66 billion in first quarter 2017 revenue, for a 3.3 percent year-over-year gain. In contrast, looking at the service provider router market, revenue declined by 3.7 percent to $3.35 billion.
Looking at Ethernet port speeds, 10 Gbps port revenue was reported by IDC at $1.98 billion, which is a 1.6 percent decline over the first quarter of 2016. While 10 Gbps revenue dipped, port shipments grew by 23.9 percent to 10.7 million ports. IDC also reported that 1 Gbps Ethernet port revenue declined by 0.5 percent on port shipment growth of 11.0 percent.
According to Dell'Oro Group, 25 Gbps and 100 Gbps port shipments increased in the first quarter of 2017 to over one million ports. Dell'Oro's report noted that 25 Gbps port shipments are largely being driven by Cisco at this point.
"The Ethernet Switch market experienced some bright spots in the quarter," Sameh Boujelbene, Senior Director at Dell’Oro Group said in a statement. "Despite ongoing macroeconomic headwinds – mainly in part of Europe as well as weak federal spending in U.S. – the market was driven by strong growth in data center switching, a strong quarter in China, and campus switching, which provided an additional bright spot with the ongoing ramp of multi-gigabit switches and the proliferation of the number of switch vendors starting to ship their NBase-T products."
From a vendor perspective, Cisco still dominates the Ethernet switching market, though its' market share declined to 55.1 percent down from 59.0 percent in the first quarter of 2016.
"The Ethernet switch market, across the enterprise and Datacenter segments, is characterized by two competing forces: faster speeds and increased standardization," said Rohit Mehra, vice president, Network Infrastructure at IDC, in a statement. "Both forces drive port shipments up, but price erosion from standardization and product maturity means that improved price-performance becomes more important across regions. That said, continued penetration of cloud coupled with the digital transformation imperative will drive market growth throughout 2017."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.