SAN Switches Boast Strong Growth

Storage Area Networking (SAN) Switches were a bright spot in IT spending
last year, with worldwide sales growing 15% to $954 million, according
to a new report by Dell’Oro Group.

“It was an exciting year for the SAN Switch industry, as many new
products came to market in 2002,” said Dell’Oro senior analyst Paul
Baranello.

The transition from 1 Gbps Fibre Channel switches to 2 Gbps Fibre
Channel switches played a big part in that growth story. Dell’Oro said
that 2 Gbps Fibre Channel switches accounted for more than 95% of fourth
quarter 2002 sales, compared to less than 20% in the fourth quarter of
2001.

SAN switches continued to gain sales momentum in the fourth quarter,
with a 5% sequential increase to a record $263 million, Baranello said.
“We expect this momentum to carry into 2003 and forecast worldwide
market sales to grow this year,” he said.

Brocade remained in the number one market spot, with 19% sales growth
for the year. McData came in second, growing 1% on the year. Inrange was
third, but had the fastest sales growth last year at 35%. QLogic was
fourth with a 12% growth rate.

Brocade Trumpets Results

Brocade put out its own release on the results, stating that is has
continued to expand its worldwide Fibre Channel switch market share,
increasing its share of the total market to 58 percent, according to the
Dell’Oro Group report.

“This increase represents revenue growth of 19 percent year over year, a
faster growth rate than the overall switching market,” Brocade said.

With the introduction of the Brocade SilkWorm 12000 Core Fabric Switch,
Brocade said it grew its 2 Gigabit per second Director-class (modular)
market share from zero to 44 percent in just nine months. Since the
product’s introduction in April 2002, Brocade estimates that it has
shipped well over 100,000 SilkWorm 12000 ports. Brocade said it also
maintained its number one rank in the Fibre Channel fabric switch
(fixed) segment of the market with 79 percent share by revenue in
2002.

“When we announced the SilkWorm 12000, our goal was to rapidly penetrate
the market for Director-class switches with the industry’s first core
fabric switch,” said Jay Kidd, Brocade’s vice president of Product
Marketing. “We are pleased to have hit our goal of achieving more than
40 percent of this market, with more than 1500 core fabric switches in
production today and more than 2.3 million Brocade ports deployed
worldwide.”

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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