The Ethernet switch market is undergoing a transformation as end users start to favor products purpose-built and optimized according to deployment location, in the data center, enterprise, small and medium businesses (SMBs) and carrier Ethernet services.

As the data center migration towards 10 Gigabit Ethernet for server access ramps up, existing and new vendors face opportunities and market share turbulence, according to a report by Dell’Oro Group.

Dell’Oro Group’s  research report assessed the magnitude of the Ethernet switch market by location of deployment, tracking market evolution, assessing vendor strengths and weaknesses, and the drivers of growth behind a market that now exceeds $20 billion.

“Data center consolidation projects and an increase in Cloud services are causing the data center segment to significantly outperform the overall Ethernet switch market. This trend is causing vendors focused in the data center to gain overall market share compared to those focused in other segments,” said Alan Weckel, vice president at Dell’Oro Group.  “At the same time, the increase in mobile devices is causing many enterprises and SMBs to invest more heavily in WLAN.  While we haven’t seen a negative impact yet, we believe over the next several years the Enterprise and SMB segments will plateau and then gradually decline in favor of wireless technologies, such as 802.11ac. 

“The divergence in market segment performance will have more impact on vendor share and vendor product offerings over the next several years than we have experienced in the past decade.”