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ICYMI: Ethernet market hits $5.8B mark in Q2

IDC says the Ethernet switch and router market remains healthy; retailers are ready to spend on IoT.

Both the worldwide Ethernet switch and router market grew during the second quarter of 2015, according to statistics...

released last week.

IDC, based in Framingham, Mass., said that the Layer 2/3 Ethernet switch market posted revenues of $5.8 billion for the period, an uptick of 1% from the year-earlier quarter. Sales of enterprise and service provider routers grew 11.5%, IDC said.

Despite the increase in sales of Ethernet switch ports, the sector's overall growth didn't hit projections. "Overall revenue and port shipment growth was weaker than expected in 2Q 15," Rohit Mehra, IDC's vice president of network infrastructure, said in a statement. Mehra said customers may be holding back, as they await the release of ports and switches supporting higher speeds. Among Ethernet market categories, 10 GbE switch revenues fell 4%, while port shipments grew 16.4%, with nearly 7.3 million 10 GbE ports sold. IDC said 10 GbE and 40 GbE switches will continue to drive the market for the near term.

Cisco continued to dominate Ethernet sales, with the vendor holding a 60% market share. HP had a 9.5% share of the market.

With the expected release of new Ethernet products slated to support 2.5, 50 and 100 GbE, IDC said it expects "this segment to stay dynamic and interesting for the foreseeable future," according to Petr Jirovsky, research manager in IDC's Networking Trackers Group.

Study: Retail IoT investments to sizzle by 2020

Retailers wanting to capitalize on the Internet of Things (IoT) will spend $2.5 billion in hardware and installation costs by 2020, almost four times the amount they are spending on the technology in 2015, according to a study conducted by British consultancy Juniper Research Ltd.

Juniper said investments will revolve around such technologies as Bluetooth beacons and radio frequency ID (RFID) tags. Retailers are installing beacons in their stores as a way to communicate sales and other information to customers' mobile devices. RFID is used for asset tracking and permits companies to monitor stock levels, as well as the location of goods in warehouses and other locations.

Using IoT as a foundation, companies employing these technologies can create their own "ecosystems," providing them with a competitive advantage, according to Juniper.

"Retailers, such as Zara and Target, are already taking advantage of the benefits offered by RFID asset tracking," said study author Steffen Sorrell in a statement. "Meanwhile, the beacon industry is expanding rapidly; used as a method to provide consumers with contextually relevant information in conjunction with their smartphone or wearable will enormously enhance the in-store experience."

Other findings:

  • Approximately 70% of IoT units will be designed for industrial -- and not consumer-- uses by 2020.
  • Security remains a critical concern. IoT networks will have to be engineered so that if a breach takes place, the portion of the network in which the attack has taken place can be walled off and separated from the rest of the network.
  • More than 38.5 billion devices will be connected to a network by 2020.

Cambium intros cloud-managed Wi-Fi

Wireless services vendor Cambium Networks Ltd. introduced a cloud-managed 802.11ac Wi-Fi platform for enterprise and industrial use.

The package, cnPilot, includes indoor and outdoor access points, and is supported by the vendor's cnMaestro management platform, which provides onboarding, planning and remote maintenance features. The products will begin shipping in mid-September.

"The segment we are targeting has been historically underserved," Atul Bhatnagar, president and CEO of Cambrium, based in Rolling Meadows, Ill., said in a statement. "We saw a need in the market for a middle ground between complex, expensive solutions geared toward large enterprises, and inexpensive equipment that becomes unreliable to scale."

Cambrium's move comes as 802.11ac-based wireless gear becomes the industry's prevailing standard, according to a report released by IDC. The firm said products based on 802.11ac now represent about 50% of AP unit shipments -- just 18 months after the higher-speed standard was ratified.

Next Steps

Using Ethernet for your WAN

MPLS versus Ethernet: What's best?

Making IoT security a reality

Dig Deeper on Data Center Ethernet

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