BroadbandWorldwide sales of Ethernet routers increased 7.8% year over year, the highest in two years, while Layer 2/3 Ethernet switch sales rose 6.5%, totaling $5.66 billion in 3Q. Sequentially, quarter to quarter, Ethernet switch sales rose 5.2% while Ethernet router sales increased 2.2%, according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Ethernet Switch and Router Tracker.

At 22.7% year over year, Ethernet switch sales grew fastest in the Middle East/Africa region. North American sales rose 12%, while growth in Latin America and Asia/Pacific was in the mid-single digits. Sales growth was much more subdued in Western, Central and Eastern Europe, in the 1-2% range, while sales in Japan slumped 13.4%.

“The worldwide Ethernet Switch market is increasingly a tale of two market segments with different market dynamics: the enterprise campus segment, which includes the network edge, and the higher growth data center segment that is driving 10GbE and 40GbE as cloud rollouts continue to increase,” Rohit Mehra, IDC vice president, Network Infrastructure was quoted in a press release.

“It’s also worth noting that growth trends and overall regional performance in these segments vary widely among the regional and country markets across the various theaters, driven by a convergence of macro-economic issues and different states of maturity of data center and cloud deployments.”

IDC said 10Gb Layer 2/3 Ethernet switch revenue rose 12% year over year and 10Gb Ethernet switch port shipments surged 40.1% to 4.97 million ports in 3Q. “10 GbE continues to be the primary driver of the overall Ethernet switch market, with the early stage 40 GbE just starting to reach critical mass as a stand-alone segment,” IDC writes.

The worldwide enterprise and service provider router market increased 7.8% year over year and 2.2% sequentially in 3Q. Geographically, results were “uneven,” varying between 30% growth in Middle East and Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, to a 26.3% decline in Japan. Revenue rose 14.8% in North America while that for Latin America and Western Europe increased in the high single digits. Excluding Japan, Asia/Pacific revenue fell 1.5%.

Looking at vendors, IDC found that Cisco’s Layer 2/3 Ethernet switch market share held firm at 62.3% in 3Q while its share in “the fast growing 10GbE market segment was 65.9%.” HP’s Ethernet switch market share rose to 9.4% with revenue increasing 5.3% quarterly and 6.5% year over year, “on par with the overall market,” IDC said.

“With the unified enterprise network edge gaining market traction and new applications for the Internet of Things continuing to emerge, Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) is expected to hold its own for the foreseeable future,” commented Petr Jirovský, IDC research manager, Networking Trackers Group. “Of course, noticeable regional and country-level variances continue to be seen, so vendors are best advised to take those into consideration while working on their near to mid-term strategies.”

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