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LAN switch market revenues up 24 percent in 2004

Posted: 24 Feb 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:lan switch? infonetics research? l2-l3 ethernet?

The global LAN switch market reached revenues of $3.8 billion in 2004, an increase of 24 percent over the previous year, even though growth slowed during the fourth quarter of the year, down 2 percent from 3Q04, according to figures just published by Infonetics Research.

L2-L3 Ethernet switch revenue made up the lion's share of the total, even though dropping 3 percent from 3Q04 to 4Q04 to be worth $3.6 billion in revenues, while ports shipped dipped one percent to 61 million.

Infonetics estimates that growth for L2-L3 Ethernet switch ports and revenue will increase 7 percent and 2 percent respectively for this year.

Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst at Infonetics Research, said sales of Gigabit switches drove the market significantly higher, and these are, on a yearly revenue basis, finally outpacing those of 10/100M switches.

Cisco continues to have a stronghold on the overall market according to Infonetics, especially in the chassis segment. However, Cisco "has been steadily losing fixed configuration port market share over the last year, against competitors like NETGEAR and D-Link," notes Machowinski.

The worldwide total for L4-L7 switch/load balancers reached $165 million in the fourth quarter of 2004, a 9 percent increase from the previous quarter, driven by sales of chassis-based devices. Revenues for L4-L7 switch/load balancers with SSL registered double-digit growth for the fourth quarter in a row, increasing 22 percent for the fourth quarter of 2004 to be worth $70 million, and is predicted to jump another 11 percent by 4Q05.

In worldwide sales of L2-L3 fixed configuration switches, Cisco had a massive 56 percent market share last year, and a 29 percent share of the ports business. 3Com came second in this category. Infonetics says that while Cisco's revenue share was up from the previous year, it lost market share in port shipments, while 3Com's share rose to fourth.

NETGEAR remained second in worldwide port market share and sixth in revenue market share.

In L4-L7 switch/load balancers without SSL, Cisco again came out top in 2004, with 44 percent revenue market share and a port market share only just below, at 43 percent.

F5 continued to cement its lead in the L4-L7 switch/load balancer with SSL category, despite stiff competition from both Cisco and Nortel. It managed a 54 percent revenue and 56 percent port market share in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Infonetics tracks all the leading players in the sector, including 3Com, Alcatel, Allied Telesyn, Avaya, Cisco, D-Link, Enterasys, Extreme, F5, Foundry, NETGEAR, Netscaler, Nortel, ProCurve (HP), and SMC.

- John Walko

EE Times

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