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."


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