Ethernet switch market trends show 40 GbE losing share

The global Ethernet switch market grows, according to IHS Markit, while ThousandEyes focuses on device health and network visibility. Riverbed and Teneo team up on new service.

IHS Markit said global Ethernet switch market revenues grew 10% in the second quarter of 2017, reaching $6.2 billion in revenue. The results come on the heels of an IDC report earlier in the month that found switch sales growing 8% in the second quarter. Total port shipments, meantime, reached 160 million units -- a 12% increase year over year, IHS said.

Among the significant trends in the Ethernet switch market, 40 GbE port shipments dropped 14% while 100 GbE ports experienced a sevenfold increase in sales, surpassing 1 million ports shipped. IHS anticipates 200 GbE and 400 GbE revenues to exceed $1 billion by 2019, with 400 GbE dominating long term.

According to IHS Markit analysts who released the market tracker, Ethernet switch demand has improved consistently throughout the past five quarters. Strong data center demand appears to be driving Ethernet switch market trends, with cloud service providers rapidly expanding data center architectures. In 2016, weak enterprise campus demand skewed the numbers, but campus demand has now steadied.

Regionally, North America and EMEA sales grew, although IHS found that the Asia-Pacific region continued to drive the fastest growth. IHS' examination of vendor market shares paralleled IDC's research, with Huawei, Juniper Networks and Arista Networks recording solid gains in switch sales while Cisco and Hewlett Packard Enterprise notched minimal growth.

"The transition to 25/100GE architectures in the data center is in full swing, and for the first time, vendors shipped over 1 million 100 GbE ports in a quarter," said Matthias Machowinski, senior research director at IHS Markit, in a statement. "The victim of this success is 40 GbE, which has been declining for the past year. And already, the industry is looking ahead to the next generation of speeds, 200 and 400 GbE, driven by unabated traffic growth in webscale data centers," he added.

ThousandEyes launch focuses on device health and network visibility

ThousandEyes has expanded its network visibility software to include network devices, allowing users to pinpoint where problems may exist in network components delivering applications and services.

Strong data center demand appears to be driving the Ethernet switch market trends, with cloud service providers rapidly expanding data center architectures.

The upgrade, Device Layer, gathers data from switches, routers, firewalls and load balancers. With the new release, ThousandEyes said customers using the vendor's Path Visualization software can more easily visualize network topologies and spot real-time network infrastructure changes. The San Francisco-based company said the upgrade will provide device tracking, from Layer 2 to Layer 7, and enable rapid troubleshooting without switching between monitoring devices.

"In today's highly automated and distributed environments, our customers want to focus on innovation and delivering an exceptional customer experience, not managing complexity," said Mohit Lad, CEO and co-founder of ThousandEyes, in a statement. "Trying to understand network infrastructure without any application context is meaningless," he added.

Riverbed and Teneo focus on reducing Capex for SD-WAN

Riverbed is partnering with Teneo, a U.K.-based technology integrator, to offer a "visibility as a service" platform based on Riverbed's SteelCentral portfolio.

Teneo said the offering, now available, delivers a unified view of application health and performance.

Customers can choose among four levels of service, with the most comprehensive including end-user experience monitoring and troubleshooting across web, cloud and hybrid environments.

"Unfortunately, with the adoption of cloud and hybrid architectures, [enterprises] are finding that their traditional tools are riddled with blind spots, and they can't comprehensively manage the user's end-to-end digital experience," said Mike Sargent, senior vice president and general manager of SteelCentral, in a statement.

This is the second partnership between the two companies. Earlier this year, Teneo introduced an SD-WAN service using Riverbed's SteelConnect hardware.

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