According to IDC, the global Ethernet switch market had revenues of $5.9 billion for the third quarter of 2011. That translates into a 6.1 percent year-over-year growth rate and 10.9 percent sequentially. Infonetics Research has a different figure for the third quarter, pegging Ethernet switch sales at $5.0 billion.
10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) is helping to pave the way for growth as port deployments continue. IDC reported that 10 GbE port shipments grew by 99 percent to 2.09 million ports. Port growth has led to a 29.9 percent increase in 10 GbE switch revenues, according to IDC. Infonetics similarly reported a near doubling of 10GbE ports as data center upgrades and virtualization drive demand. Infonetics also noted that the 40 GbE market is starting to get going now too with third quarter 2011 revenues of $6.5 million.
While 10 GbE is growing so too is the shift away from Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps) to Gigabit Ethernet.
“In the broader Ethernet switching market, Gigabit Ethernet revenue increased 2.7 percent year over year and port shipments experienced strong growth of 27.1 percent as the transition from Fast Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet continues,” said Petr Jirovsky, senior research analyst in IDC’s Networking Trackers Group in a statement. “Gigabit Ethernet now commands a 61.6 percent share of the overall Ethernet switching market revenue and 46.9 percent of port shipments.”