Worldwide Fibre Channel Hub and Switch Revenues Will Soar to $2.7 Billion in 2003, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MASS. — 03/07/2000 — The worldwide Fibre Channel hub and switch factory market is hot — red hot in fact. In 1999, revenues skyrocketed a spectacular 227% to $236.4 million, and the market has plenty of fuel left to propel it even further. IDC says revenues will increase at a 85% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2003, landing at $2.7 billion and making the market among the fastest growing of any that IDC covers.

"Fibre Channel is quickly becoming the preferred host-to-storage interconnect technology for open systems. It's also becoming accepted as a favored storage interconnect for storage area network data pools," said Robert Gray, director of IDC's Worldwide Storage Systems research. "The technology's high bandwidth, redundancy, and capability to support long distance topologies are making it very popular."

According to IDC, Brocade was the market's number-one supplier in 1999, with 39% of revenues. "Brocade's focus on fabric switches positions it well overall and gives the company a technology base that could be applied in the future to the lucrative director class switches," Gray said.

McData was second with 22%, and Gadzoox rounded out the top three with 17%.

Director switches and loop switches will be the fastest-growing areas. Director switches will increase at a CAGR of 129%. They will overtake fabric switches in 2001 in terms of revenues, and by 2003, they will account for 52% of the market's revenues.

"While fabric switches have been plagued with pricing pressures, director switches have experienced minimal pricing declines, and because of the product's high-end, support-oriented nature, we don't expect price pressures to be a problem in this segment, allowing it to garner an increasing share of revenues," Gray said.

IDC's new report 2000 Worldwide Fibre Channel Hub and Switch Market Forecast and Review (IDC #B21806) includes actual data for Fibre Channel hubs and switches from 1997 to 1999 and forecast data through 2003. The report presents historical data on factory revenue, port count, and unit count. Forecasts are provided for market revenue and port counts. Vendor market shares for factory revenue, port count, and unit count are also presented. IDC segments the Fibre Channel hub and switch market into the following five categories: entry hubs, managed hubs, loop switches, fabric switches, and director switches. Each segment is thoroughly discussed in the report. To order a copy of the report, contact Patrick Steeves at 1-800-343-4952, ext. 6787 or at

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and technology trends and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

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