The Top 10 Best Selling Switches By Brand

Stand-Out Switches Of 2013

The rise of cloud- and software-defined networking (SDN) may be shaking up the traditional networking market, but that hasn't stopped networking players, ranging from Cisco Systems to Brocade Communications Systems from continuing to invest in their bread-and-butter switching portfolios.

Based on data from the NPD Group, a Port Washington, N.Y.-based market research firm that provides data from leading technology distributors, the following represents the "Top 10" best-selling switch brands of 2013. The data is based on the percentage of switch units shipped from January to December 2013. The NPD Group's Distributor Track sales database is comprised primarily of U.S. Global Technology Distribution Council members.

10. Allied Telesis

Allied Telesis rounded out NPD's list of the best-selling switch brands of 2013, accounting for 0.8 percent of the total units sold.

Bothell, Wash.-based Allied Telesis in June bolstered its WebSmart line of Gigbabit Ethernet switches with the launch of the WebSmart GS950 PS Series. The new lineup includes 8-, 16- and 48-port configurations, all of which support Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) and can deliver up to 30W per port.

Allied Telesis said the GS950 PS Series, given its built-in security features and PoE+ support, are ideal for connecting RFID readers, Point of Sale (PoS) systems and IP surveillance cameras.

9. Brocade Communications

Brocade secured the No. 9 spot on NPD's list, with its switches representing 1.2 percent of the total units shipped last year.

Brocade in 2013 made several updates to its switching line, many of which were designed to fuel its broader push in the SDN and network virtualization markets. In September, Brocade expanded its VDX line of switches with the launch of its VDX 6740 series. Consisting of two 48-port switches, the new VDX 6740 line utilizes Brocade's VCS Fabric technology to help users build out Ethernet fabrics and cloud-optimized networks.

In another push toward SDN, Brocade earlier this year announced OpenFlow 1.3 support across its entire IP switching and routing portfolio.

8. TP-Link

The No. 8 spot on NPD's list went to Shenzhen, China-based networking vendor TP-Link, whose switches last year accounted for 1.6 percent of the total units sold.

TP-Link offers a range of managed and unmanaged switches for business of all sizes, and in 2013 introduced a new line designed specifically for SMBs. The new JetStream 24-port and 24-port PoE managed switches offer robust management and security capabilities and start at $349, making them ideal for smaller IT budgets.

TP-Link also introduced last year its new TL-SG1008PE desktop/rackmount switch, which it says is up to 75 percent more energy-efficient than competing switches.

8. Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks tied TP-Link as the eighth best-selling switch brand in 2013, according to NPD, with 1.6 percent share of the total units shipped.

Juniper made a number of shake-ups to its switching portfolio in 2013, many of which were done with SDN in mind. For example, in April, Juniper rolled out its new EX9200 core switch for data center and enterprises embracing SDN architectures. The switch comes in a 4-, 8- or 14-slot chassis and is based on the Juniper One programmable ASIC, a feature Juniper said allows the EX900 to easily accommodate new networking protocols without having to rip out and replace their existing networking gear.

6. Linksys

Linksys, the consumer and small business networking player Belkin acquired from Cisco in 2013, claimed the No. 6 spot on NPD's list of best-selling switches with 3 percent share. And if Belkin has its way, that number will continue to grow. The Playa Vista, Calif.-based networking vendor is staging a major SMB offensive around the Linksys brand, anchored by a newly designed partner program and a new line of Linksys SMB-focused products. Among those new products, unveiled last month, is a series of Linksys "smart" switches that are Power over Ethernet (PoE) and come with built-in network management and Quality of Service (QoS) features.

5. TRENDnet

Torrance, Calif.-based switch vendor TRENDnet nabbed the No. 5 spot on NPD's list, accounting for 5.2 percent of the total switches shipped last year.

TRENDnet in 2013 rolled out a number of new PoE+ switches, including the TPE-1620WS, a 16-port Gigabit switch that comes with full IPv6 support, along with embedded traffic management capabilities. The TPE-1620WS is also ideal for the energy-conscious, TRENDnet said. It comes equipped with the company's GREENnet technology that powers down ports when they are not in use, saving up to 70 percent in power consumption.

4. D-Link

The fourth best-selling switch brand in 2013, according to NPD, is D-Link, which accounted for 6.9 percent of the total units shipped. Fountain Valley, Calif.-based D-Link, which sells networking gear into the enterprise, consumer and service provider markets, bolstered its switch portfolio last month with the launch of its latest-generation SmartPro switches for small- to midsize businesses. Called the DGS-1510 Series, the line-up includes 16-, 24, or 48-port models. D-Link said all three models have 10 Gigabit port connectivity and are ideal for SMB core deployments. The switches are stackable, and any model in the DGS-1510 series can be mixed in a single stack to allow for simultaneous configuration and management, according to D-Link. The switches also come with D-Link's Green 3.0 technology, meaning they automatically decrease power intake when traffic levels are low.

3. Hewlett-Packard

With its switches representing 12.4 percent of the total units shipped in 2013, tech giant Hewlett-Packard secured the No. 3 spot on NPD's list.

HP's networking unit kept busy in 2013, revealing a number of changes to its portfolio aimed at both the SDN and emerging Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) trends. In a move HP dubbed one of its most significant networking product launches in years, the company in May unveiled a new series of FlexFabric solutions, including both physical and virtual switches for SDN.

The new HP FlexFabric 12900 core and OpenFlow-enabled switch series, for instance, is optimized for virtualized workloads and helps quicken the pace at which data moves across the network, HP said.

2. NetGear

Storage and networking vendor NetGear landed the runner's-up spot on NPD's list, with its switches accounting for 28.7 percent of the total units shipped in 2013.

In December, San Jose, Calif.-based NetGear expanded its ProSAFE family of Gigabit switches with three new PoE models, all of which are aimed at the SMB segment. The second-generation ProSAFE switches, NetGear said, come in 5-, 16- and 24-port models and have built-in web-based managed capabilities, allowing users to prioritize voice and video traffic, monitor, troubleshoot and more.

NetGear said a unique feature of the 5-port model, in particular, is that it is supplied via a PoE powered device port, eliminating the need for an external power adapter.

1. Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems maintained its throne as the best-selling switch brand in 2013, according to NPD, with the San Jose, Calif-based networking giant accounting for 32.7 percent of the total units shipped.

Though Cisco last year continued its aggressive push into areas like cloud, services and SDN, the company by no means left its switching portfolio on the back burner. In June, for example, Cisco refreshed its Catalyst 6800 Series of switches to include the new Catalyst 6807-XL modular switch, the Catalyst 6880-X semi-fixed switch and the Catalyst 6800ai Instant Access switch, all of which are targeted at campus deployments.

Cisco said the new switches are meant to prepare networks for the emerging Internet of Everything trend, making them more programmable and application-centric.