High-End Switch Sales Buoy SAN Market

The overall SAN market was flat in the third quarter, but director-class switches were a bright spot, according to Dell’Oro Group.

Sales in the modular storage area network (SAN) switch segment (also known as directors) grew sequentially by 8 percent during the quarter, according to the group’s SAN Quarterly Report. The increase offset declines in the fixed switch and host bus adapter (HBA) segments, producing a flat result for the overall SAN market in the third quarter.

“Expectation of new product introductions during the past two quarters have led to pent-up demand for director switches,” said John Carvell, Dell’Oro’s principal analyst for SAN research. “This has benefited Brocade with its Silkworm 24000 and CNT with its UltraNet Multi-service Director in particular. Both companies have seen growth in revenue for these products.”

Total modular SAN switch revenue was $162 million in the third quarter, Dell’Oro Group said. McData saw its revenue decline by 6% in the quarter, while Brocade , Cisco and CNT posted strong growth.

Brocade grew director revenues by 15%, Cisco by 21%, and CNT by 27%.

Carvell said network managers are revising their SAN network strategy as growing volumes of information require greater storage capacity.

“Enterprises are deploying higher-density switches with increased port capacity to consolidate their network needs and handle increasing storage demand,” Carvell said. “As SAN architecture migrates from a flat topology to a core-to-edge solution, this transition will continue to fuel strong growth in the director product segment.”

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Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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