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May 10, 2010

Infonetics' Data Center Network Equipment Report Points to Market Trends

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Market research firm Infonetics Research (News - Alert) has released the fourth quarter edition of its Data Center Network Equipment market share and forecast report.

'Cisco (News - Alert) continues to dominate the overall data center network equipment market, as few vendors can match the breadth of Cisco's product portfolio," notes Matthias Machowinski, Infonetics Research's directing analyst for enterprise voice and data, in an opinion calculated to surprise precisely no one.

But there's hope for Cisco's competition: In each segment, the report finds, "Cisco encounters strong competitors that are focused on that segment, whether it's Juniper for data center Ethernet switches, F5 in ADCs, or Riverbed/Blue Coat (News - Alert) for WAN optimization."

Highlighting the data center, the report finds that Ethernet switches hit $3.2 billion in 2009, "capped by a very strong fourth quarter, indicating a resurgence in data center build-outs, along with the general recovery in network equipment sales."

Data center switches, in fact, continue to account for the bulk of data center network equipment revenue.

Purpose-built and blade switches are forecast to take an increasing share of the data center switch market, the report finds, "as these switches better address the requirements of the next generation data center, including the move to blade server platforms, SAN convergence, and high performance."

The WAN optimization segment is faring better than other networking segments, with sales up for another quarter, to $256 million in 4Q09 - a rise of seven percent.

Speaking of which, TMCnet has reported that Metaswitch Networks, an advanced carrier services provider for communications networks, has announced that it delivered a portable protocol solution for signaling and routing in G.709 Optical Transport Networks.

According to company officials, OTN provides "a transparent, hierarchical network that supports the transport of both packet and optical traffic, greatly increasing network efficiencies."

The vendor delivers standards-based OTN extensions of its Integrated Control Plane software to enable system vendors to dynamically signal and route connections in an OTN network.

At a time when many equipment vendors are offering hybrid Packet-Optical Transport Systems, the release of Metaswitch's portable OTN software is said to be well timed. The fully integrated control plane can enable service providers to provide a wide range of packet, Ethernet and optical services while greatly enhancing operational efficiencies.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David's articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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