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White box drives record 2013 in Ethernet switching

Cloud, enterprise data centers stoke $22B market; Cisco shrugs off rumored Juniper/NSN union

Call it the March of the White Brigade. Sales of white box switches outpaced the Ethernet switch market as a whole in 2013, which was a record year for switch sales, according to Dell'Oro Group.

The Layer 2-3 Ethernet Switch market exceeded $22 billion in 2013, with most segments achieving record revenues during the year. Cloud providers and enterprise data centers accounted for the majority of the 5% revenue increase from 2012.

"Mega" cloud providers opted for white box switches over vanity switches from name vendors, Dell'Oro found, enough to outperform the overall market, though the base is much smaller.  Enterprise sales also outpaced the overall market with many vendors in this segment achieving record years: Cisco, Dell, Extreme/Enterasys, HP, Huawei and Juniper all exceeded $400 million in revenue.

In 2012, all but Extreme and Enterasys, as separate companies, exceeded $400 million in revenue. Still, their combined revenue as separate companies exceeded $500 million in 2012.

The top five vendors in trems of market share in 2013 were Cisco, HP, Juniper, Dell and Huawei. Dell and Huawei traded places from 2012, with Huawei's sales dropping 10% in 2013.

Dell'Oro also expects overall market growth in 2014 despite the impact of cloud and Chinese vendors on the market and on individual vendor performance.

In other news, NSN downplayed reports that it was looking to merge with Juniper to boost its penetration in the US telecom market. NSN did not rule out an expanded partnership with the router company, however, according to this post from The Wall Street Journal.

Cisco seems undaunted by the prospect of a Juniper/NSN union.

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