Carrier Ethernet Thunder: ESE & CESR

As Light Reading looks forward to hosting our fourth annual Ethernet Expo in New York City from Oct. 20-22, we are witnessing an unprecedented level of activity in the carrier Ethernet market that should make for a dynamic show. Looking beyond the Nortel Networks Ltd. metro Ethernet announcement, let’s consider other recent developments in two key carrier Ethernet segments that I track for Heavy Reading.

Ethernet service edge (ESE) routers/platforms. The ESE market has been sizzling over the past year, with revenues from four key players – Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), and Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY) – growing an estimated 52 percent year-over-year to $690 million in the second quarter of 2008. All four of these suppliers recorded sequential growth in the second quarter. While Cisco posted stellar ESE numbers and Alcatel-Lucent continued to hum along with expanding 7750 Service Router sales to large operators such as China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA), Juniper has been making its Ethernet presence known with an array of new wins.

Just check out some of the Juniper MX deals announced since May: XO Communications Inc. , Global Cloud Xchange , Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), BCE Inc. (Bell Canada) (NYSE/Toronto: BCE), Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), AboveNet Inc. (NYSE: ABVT), and Cox Communications Inc. . In addition to these, I recently had a conversation with a large unannounced Juniper customer that told me the MX is playing a critical role in its converged network transformation in support of business services.

Carrier Ethernet switch/routers (CESRs). Intensifying competition and a slowing macro-economy in the second quarter took the wind out of the high-flying CESR market, which grew a modest 12 percent year-over-year to $538 million, according to our newly released "Carrier Ethernet Switch/Router Quarterly Market Tracker." We have grown more cautious about the size of the long-term CESR market, but the demand fundamentals remain solid and give us confidence the market can still grow at double-digit annual rates through 2012.

While Cisco has been impressively ramping 7600 ESE sales, it is a different story in the CESR space, where it lacks a new flagship platform to build on its historical Catalyst 6500 success. We estimate Cisco has lost 9.5 CESR share points since the third quarter of 2007, closing out 2008's second quarter below the 50 percent share mark. No. 2 Alcatel-Lucent, No. 3 Hitachi Cable Ltd. , Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR), Juniper, and others with next-gen CESRs have been gobbling up new business opportunities and/or penetrating some major accounts where Cisco has had incumbency.

Beyond the market-share developments, there has been a thundering of CESR-related product and feature news in recent months. This includes:
  • Extreme: new high-capacity 20808 Switch for metro Ethernet transport
  • Alcatel-Lucent: integrated PBB/VPLS module for the 7450 CESR and 7750 ESE platforms
  • Cisco: catalyst 4500 capacity upgrade, new ME 3400E switch for enhanced business services
  • Ethos Networks Ltd. : commercially available ES-80 Ethernet service transport switch based on PBB-TE
  • Foundry: new NetIron CES 2000 aggregation/edge switch with integrated PBB/VPLS and 10G capability
  • Hitachi Cable: new Apresia 18008 switch with Ethernet OAM
  • MRV Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: MRVC): new OS 9124-410G Ethernet switch with four WDM ports

Many of the world’s leading carrier Ethernet suppliers will be sharing about their latest solutions at Light Reading’s Ethernet Expo 2008. Representatives from the MEF and more than 50 companies – including 11 service providers, dozens of carrier Ethernet vendors, and business end-users – will be directly participating in this year’s show. We hope to see you in New York.

— Stan Hubbard, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

For more information, or a FREE PREVIEW of the "Carrier Ethernet Switch/Router Quarterly Market Tracker," please contact:

    Lee Salem
    Sales Director – Custom Research, Heavy Reading
    [email protected]

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