IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Networks Tracker Shows Record Ethernet Switch Results; Router Market Declines

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., February 22, 2012 – The worldwide Ethernet switch market reached record revenues of $6.06 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011 (4Q11), representing strong growth of 5.5% year over year and 1.2% quarter over quarter. Meanwhile, the worldwide router market declined 2.3% year over year in 4Q11, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Networks Tracker. The preliminary 4Q11 results also show strong Ethernet switch market growth in Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), and in Asia/Pacific, which increased 29.0%, 11.9%, and 8.4% respectively. On the other hand, North America declined 2.0% year over year in 4Q11 after a very strong 3Q11.

"The market recovery in the second half of 2011 is very encouraging for the enterprise networking market, with most market segments and regions making a contribution," said Rohit Mehra, director, Enterprise Communications Infrastructure at IDC. "With Gigabit Ethernet having recovered to a growth trajectory, and with 10GbE and 40GbE expected to drive incremental growth in datacenter and campus core deployments, the ethernet switch market is expected to show moderate growth in 2012."

For the full year 2011, the worldwide Ethernet Layer 2/3 switch market was essentially flat over 2010, with revenues of $21.1 billion, while the worldwide router market performed better with a 5.7% growth over 2010.

10GbE switch (Layer 2/3) revenue increased 32.9% year over year, and 5.1% over the prior quarter. 10GbE port shipments grew to a record 2.8 million ports in the quarter. For the full year 2011, 10GbE market revenues grew 26.5% over 2010, while port shipments more than doubled during the same period.

The 4Q11 worldwide Router market increased 7.3% quarter over quarter but was down 2.3% year over year. This was a solid performance especially considering the exceptional market results experienced in 4Q10. Regionally, the strong 16.6% growth in Latin America and 15.1% increase in Asia/Pacific were offset by a decline in both North America and EMEA, which were down 16.4% and 3.7% year over year respectively in 4Q11.

From a vendor perspective, Cisco's Ethernet switch (Layer 2/3) market share in 4Q11 came in at 64.3%, reflecting a significant improvement from earlier in the year. On a relative basis, Cisco continues to be strong in the 10GbE segment where it now has 69.5% of the market in 4Q11.

"The stronger market performance in the fourth quarter of 2011 was significant in the sense that it helped the Ethernet switch market finish the year on a positive note with a port shipments increase of 14.2% over 2010," said Petr Jirovský, senior research analyst in IDC's Networking Trackers Group. "The Ethernet Switch (Layer 2/3) market in the fourth quarter of 2011 increased sequentially 1.2%, and 5.5% over the previous year, and that bodes well for the market in general."

The IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Networks Tracker provides total market size and vendor shares for the Ethernet switch and Router technologies in an easy-to-use Excel Pivot Table format. The geographic coverage for both the Ethernet switch market and the Router market includes eight major regions (USA, Canada, Latin America, AP excluding Japan, Japan, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa) and 52 countries. The Ethernet switch market is further segmented by Speed (100Mb, 1000Mb, 10Gb), Form Factor (Fixed Managed, Fixed Unmanaged, Modular), and Layer (L2, L3, L4-7). Measurement for the Ethernet Switch market is provided in factory revenue, customer revenue, and port shipments. The Router market is further split by Product Class (High-End, Mid-Range, Low-End, SOHO) and Deployment (Service Provide, Enterprise) and the measurement is in factory revenue, customer revenue, and unit shipments.

For more information about IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Networks Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine (

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