Proliferation of 2.5GBase-T and 5GBase-T helps boost Ethernet switch shipments despite industry headwinds

Sizing up the market’s Q1, Dell’Oro Group projects that 4 million 2.5/5GBase-T ports will ship in calendar year 2017.

Cisco announced in early 2015 that it was adding 2.5/5GBase-T to its Catalyst 3560 switch, one of which is shown here. Dell'Oro Group recently characterized 2.5/5GBase-T as a bright spot in the Ethernet Layer 2/3 switch market.
Cisco announced in early 2015 that it was adding 2.5/5GBase-T to its Catalyst 3560 switch, one of which is shown here. Dell'Oro Group recently characterized 2.5/5GBase-T as a bright spot in the Ethernet Layer 2/3 switch market.

In a recently quarterly report on Layer 2 and 3 Ethernet switches, Dell’Oro Group cited NBase-T products—2.5 and 5GBase-T—as a bright spot in the switch market for the first quarter of the calendar year. “Despite ongoing macroeconomic headwinds—mainly in part Europe as well as weak federal spending in the U.S.—the market was driven by strong growth in data center switching, a strong quarter in China, and campus switching, which provided an additional bright spot with the ongoing ramp of multi-gigabit switches and the proliferation of the number of switch vendors starting to ship their NBase-T products,” said Sameh Boujelbene, senior director at the research firm.

Overall, the Layer 2 and 3 Ethernet switch market continued a path of acceleration in the first quarter. Dell’Oro said the market expanded 6 percent year-on-year in Q1, and maintained improvement from the second half of 2016. “In rank order, sales for Cisco, Huawei, Arista, and Juniper topped the market,” the firm said.

Specific to 2.5 and 5GBase-T, Dell’Oro says at least five vendors are shipping switches: Brocade, Cisco, Dell, H3C, and HPE. Cisco’s 3560 switch technology is shown on this page.

“We expect more vendors to follow suit through the rest of the year, and predict approximately 4 million 2.5/5-Gbit/sec switch ports will be shipped by the end of 2017,” the firm said.

You can find more information on the Dell’Oro Group’s quarterly Ethernet Layer 2/3 switch reports here.

See also: IEEE 802.3bz, the 2.5/5GBase-T standard, available for free download

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