The switching market stormed back into growth during Q4 2011, while the routing space performed robustly during the quarter.
According to research from IDC, the worldwide router market contracted 2.3 per cent annually in Q411, although sequential growth was pegged at 7.3 per cent. IDC characterised the three-month period as "a solid performance" and pointed out that the annual comparison was skewed by "exceptional" sales in Q410. The global routing arena posted 5.7 per cent growth for all of 2011.
The switching space, meanwhile, posted record global quarterly revenue of almost $6.1bn (£3.9bn) during Q4, representing a 5.5 per cent annual increase. Latin America was the fastest-growing region, with market expansion of 29 per cent. Growth in EMEA and Asia Pacific stood at 11.9 and 8.4 per cent, respectively.
Across the whole of 2011, worldwide switching revenue was more or less flat at $21.1bn. The 10GbE market was a star performer, with full-year sales growth of 26.5 per cent, while port shipments doubled year on year. During Q4, a record 2.8 million ports were shipped.
IDC's director of enterprise communications infrastructure Rohit Mehra struck a relatively upbeat note for the new year.
"The market recovery in the second half of 2011 is very encouraging for the enterprise networking market, with most market segments and regions making a contribution," he said. "With Gigabit Ethernet having recovered to a growth trajectory, and with 10GbE and 40GbE expected to drive incremental growth in datacentre and campus core deployments, the Ethernet switch market is expected to show moderate growth in 2012."
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