The Ethernet switch market is experiencing robust growth as a result of continued strength in the data center market, according to a report issued by research firm Dell’Oro Group.

The Redwood City-based firm said the Ethernet switch market grew almost 20 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter of 2009 with Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, and Juniper adding almost $600 million in incremental revenue.

“Year-end budget spending and supply constraints from the previous quarter helped propel market growth in the fourth quarter,” Dell’Oro director of switch research Alan Weckel said in releasing the report.

“We expect the market to continue to expand in 2010, especially as 10 Gigabit Ethernet continues to grow not only as a server connectivity technology, but also as an aggregation technology within the data center.”

Dell’Oro noted that the 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) market was the only market segment to show sequential port and revenue growth in 2009. It said that was due in part to shipments of purpose-built fixed 10 GbE boxes being built for data centers.

It predicted the majority of market revenue growth for 2010 is also likely to come from 10 GbE products.

Cisco is the biggest player in the 10 GbE market but it is facing increasing competition from the likes of HP and Juniper. HP in particular is boosting its presence in the market with its $2.7 billion acquisition of 3Com. Broadcom, Brocade, Extreme Networks, and QLogic have also been aggressive in releasing new products.





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