As the broad IT market and budgets appear to be coming back in 2010, the SAN market continued to maintain its roughly $2 billion annual size with $475M in shipments in CQ1’10. Showing some growth, larger Director-class switches actually grew 8% sequentially.
At the same time, Cisco’s ongoing commitment to Fibre Channel was validated by the market in Q1. Cisco MDS (aka SAN switch) revenue grew 100% year over year in CQ1’10, and Cisco’s market share in Director-class switches grew to a virtual tie at 50%.
Has Cisco re-focused on storage/Fibre Channel?
The answer isn’t nearly so abrupt…
The simple fact (and ongoing commitment) is that Cisco believes SANs (Fibre Channel- as well as FCoE-based) are core components of a unified, holistic data center strategy. We have stated this over the last several years, and continue to increase the scope of the solutions we offer — new products (e.g. MDS 9148 fabric switch), professional services, financing (Cisco Capital).
However, others see things a little more directly. Seamus Crehan, a Dell’Oro Group vice president, said ”Cisco has done a better job of convincing customers of its commitment to Fibre Channel after several years of playing up FCoE.”
Regardless, Cisco is engaging top research firms to validate architectures for optimally integrating multi-protocol SANs (read as Fibre Channel, iSCSI, FCoE and other protocols) with evolving data center and virtualization trends.