Ethernet Market Peaks, Despite 'Software-Defined' Movement

Despite the advent of open, game-changing movements like software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), the Ethernet switch and router markets reached an all-time high, new research indicates.

Synergy Research Group published new Q3 data that illustrated the surprising strength of the Ethernet hardware market.

Noting the peak in vendor revenues, Synergy said, "While the markets have only been growing by an average 1 percent annually, this was enough to nudge quarterly revenues to well over $11 billion, surpassing all previous quarters."

Not only that, but Cisco Systems, the kingpin of the proprietary, hardware-based legacy establishment, is doing just fine in the new software-defined era.

"Cisco's share of the total worldwide switch and router market was 53 percent, the highest it has been since early 2016," Synergy said. "Its market shares in the individual segments ranged from 63 percent for enterprise routers to 40 percent for service provider routers."

Although some industry observers indicated early on that Cisco might be most at risk in the new SDN/NFV era and it seemed late to the software-defined party, it eventually entered the fray with its own software-defined offerings and is still dominating in hardware.

"Despite challenges from SDN, NFV and hyperscalers' own-design networking gear, the market for Ethernet switches and routers is huge and continues to grow, albeit slowly," said John Dinsdale, a chief analyst at Synergy. "While Arista is the high-growth star and Huawei continues to consolidate its number two ranking in the market, the biggest story is Cisco's ability to continue controlling over half of the market. It had a particularly strong quarter and no other vendor is seriously challenging its position."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


Subscribe on YouTube