Top 5 Networking Switch Brands Of 2014

Cisco Still Top Dog

Software-defined networking might be hogging the spotlight at the moment, but Cisco Systems continued to dominate the switching market in 2014. This is according to 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 five best-selling networking switch brands of 2014. The data is based on the percentage of switch units shipped from January to December 2014. The NPD Group's DistributorTrack sales database comprises primarily U.S. Global Technology Distribution Council members.

5. Netgear

Netgear took NPD's No. 5 spot on the list of best-selling switch brands in 2014, accounting for 3.4 percent of total units sold. In November, the San Jose, Calif.-based company launched a new family of 10-Gigabit Ethernet Smart Switches called the ProSAFE S3300 Stackable Smart Switch Series. The ProSAFE S3300 Series provides a blueprint for a network that can easily expand as a company grows by exploiting the power of 10G-capable servers and network storage devices, according to a release by Netgear.

4. Brocade Communications

Brocade Communications came in fourth in 2014, representing 4.1 percent of the total units shipped, up from 3.9 percent in 2013.

Last February, Brocade launched the VDX 6740T-1 Ethernet fabric switch featuring 10 GbE ports with 40 GbE uplinks. The switch offers dual-speed functionally and delivers the high performance and low latency needed to support demanding virtualized data center environments, according to Brocade's website.

3. Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks accounted for 4.8 percent of the total units shipped in 2014, rising 0.8 points from 4 percent in 2013.

In early December, Juniper unveiled a new data center switch, OCX1100, designed to run either on Juniper's own Junos network operating system or third-party software. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said OCX1100 was the first switch in the industry to mix Open Compute Project hardware -- a consortium that applies open-source principles to make data center hardware design more efficient -- with legacy vendor software like Junos.

2. Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard came in second at 12.4 percent in 2014, dropping from 14.1 percent in 2013.

Although HP's market shares dropped 1.7 points, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based vendor easily took second place, accounting for more market share than Netgear, Brocade and Juniper combined. In June, HP rolled out a new HP 5400R z12 switch series, touting it as the next-generation version of its flagship enterprise switch, the HP 5400 zl.

1. Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems dominated the market yet again, representing 66.2 percent of the total units shipped in 2014, up from 62.6 percent in 2013. The top nine best-selling switches in 2014 were shipped by the networking giant, including the top-selling model, Cisco's Catalyst 2960-X Ethernet switch with Power over Ethernet (PoE).

Cisco doesn't seem to be losing any steam in 2015, with the vendor announcing that its switching business rose 11 percent during the second quarter, thanks to strong sales of its Nexus 3000 and Nexus 9000 switches.