Howard pointed out this trend in March, noting in an email to SDNCentral that he thinks the pause will be a lingering effect. Now he’s got some evidence.
Router and switch sales to service providers totaled $3.2 billion in the first quarter, just a 2 percent increase from the same quarter a year ago, Infonetics reported Wednesday.
It’s better than no growth at all, but Howard is convinced that carriers, especially the biggest ones such as AT&T and Deutsche Telekom, are delaying upgrades while they define their SDN and NFV strategies for the networks.
The growth of white-box switching — off-the-shelf hardware onto which the customer loads his choice of software — outpaced the market in the first quarter, Weckel says, and he expects that climb to continue. Nearly all of the white-box market has consisted of Google and Amazon so far, but they’ve piled up enough business to make “white box” the No. 2 top-of-rack switch, if you count all white boxes as one product.
Looking at the overall Ethernet switch market, not just the carrier side, Weckel recorded first-quarter industry sales of just more than $5 billion, nearly $1 billion less than the preceding quarter. He’s quoted in the press release calling it “the second worst quarter on record for the Ethernet switch market.”
Regarding the recent first quarter, however, Weckel cites multiple reasons that aren’t necessarily related. He thinks some Cisco customers were waiting for a crack at the Nexus 9000, for instance — and whether that’s an “SDN” reason is debatable, because it’s possible to use the Nexus 9000 without a trace of SDN in it.
One non-SDN factor Weckel cited was the rise of wireless in campus networking. That’s caused a dent in the campus switching market, he thinks.