Cisco Marketshare Drops to 68.2 Percent in Ethernet Switch Market


First quarter of 2011 was a difficult quarter for Ethernet switch vendors, with revenue down 8.8 percent year-on-year due to aggressive port pricing competition and weakening public sector demand in North America and Europe, according to Canalys.


Despite a 2.5 percent annual increase in ports, total end-user revenue decreased 12.3 percent over the last quarter to reach $4.6 billion.


A key factor for price pressure stemmed from aggressive competition between market leader Cisco and challengers HP  Networking and Juniper Networks. Cisco’s share fell to 68.2 percent from 69.2 percent last quarter and 73.1 percent a year ago.


At 14.1 percent, HP Networking, which acquired 3Com in 2010, gained market share, thanks to its strong performances in EMEA and Asia Pacific. Meanwhile, Juniper Networks continued its EX series momentum.


Cisco is facing intense pressure on both its core switch and overall enterprise networking businesses,” said Matthew Ball, director of Enterprise Services, Canalys. It is up against aggressive competition from Juniper Networks in routing, Riverbed Technologies in WAN optimization, F5 Networks in application delivery controllers, and Brocade in storage networking.”


If current trends continue, vendors and channel partners will have to sell more volume than expected to reach revenue targets. This competition could trigger a wave of merger and acquisition activity among smaller switch vendors as they try to gain economies of scale,” Ball added.


North America declined the most at 13.3 percent, hit by declining federal government spending. The situation is unlikely to improve with recently announced austerity measures in the United States. Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) decreased 6.7 percent year-on-year, with Western European markets hit by public sector cuts and ongoing national debt issues, and the Middle East and North Africa affected by the Arab Spring. Asia Pacific and Latin America also declined, but by smaller amounts: 3.7 percent and 1.4 percent respectively. The Japanese earthquake’s after-effects are expected to register in the second quarter.



The continuing growth in 10G port shipments marked the first quarter’s lone bright spot, with a 69.9 percent year-on-year increase. Though 1G ports grew 12.4 percent, 100M ports were down 5.7 percent in the first quarter.

The battle for data center networks is likely to intensify, as leading vendors aim their fabric strategies at creating simplified architectures. The battle for campus and branch office environments, however, should not be ignored.


By Team
[email protected]