Confusion hits the networking market -

The enterprise networking market appears to be down the loo, and how badly depends on which analyst you ask for the numbers.

Beancounters at IDC says the first quarter value was $5.2 billion, while Dell'Oro Group claims it was $5 billion. IDC said the market lost 12.3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013 – down around $US730 million – while Dell'Oro said the market lost a billion compared to the previous quarter.

About the only thing the two could agree on was that that Layer 2 / 3 Ethernet was tanking because  pesky enterprises were shifting to WiFi because it is faster and more useful.

IDC said that there had been some large shipments in the data centre market which might have saved the likes of Cicso’s bacon. Network infrastructure VP Rohit Mehra was quoted as saying “10GbE and 40GbE switch ports for the datacentre and campus core remain the growth engine for this market, although we do expect the GbE market to hold its own with port shipments during the coming years.”

Dell'Oro  said that “data centre switching paused as Cisco’s Nexus 9000 product transition continued”.

IDC said   Cisco commands more than 60 percent share of the Layer 2/3 market – slightly down in the quarter – a 4.3 percent revenue decline has an impact on the whole business. Cisco's service and enterprise router revenue dipped by 1.8 percent.

HP added 4.6 percent Ethernet switch revenue, while Juniper rose 53.4 percent for the same segment over the same period.

Dell'Oro  said that the “white box” switch market nicked market share and value from the name vendors.

However it was not all bad.  Dell'Oro said that future data centre business and the uncertain Chinese market, as offering hopeful signals or the future. IDC thinks that data centre business will keep the industry alive in the long term.