Cisco and Huawei continued to dominate the enterprise network equipment market last year, though the gap between the two did shrink just a bit. Despite that continued dominance, the market overall was down in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
That data came from Dell’Oro Group, which reported that Cisco commandeered 41% of the market’s revenues in 2020. That was down slightly from the 44% the research group said the vendor controlled in 2019, but still a significant advantage over its No. 2 rival Huawei.
The Cisco numbers align with the vendor’s most recent earnings that showed Cisco’s networking business revenues dropped 3% year over year in its most recent quarter, which Cisco said was hit by the pandemic.
Huawei managed to increase its share of revenues by 1 percentage point, hitting 10% at the end of 2020. Dell’Oro Group analyst Sameh Boujelbene noted in the report that the differing directions between the two vendors was due to Cisco’s “high exposure to hardware-based products and low exposure to China, which outgrew the market during the pandemic.”
Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) Aruba continued as the market’s No. 3 vendor with a consistent 5% revenue share year over year. Palo Alto Networks also maintained its No. 4 position and consistent 4% revenue share in 2020, but did see both Fortinet and H3C each gain a 1 percentage point increase in revenue share year over year to match its 4% share at the end of 2020. Boujelbene explained that Fortinet managed its gains on the back of its security focus, while H3C did so on the strength of its switch focus.
Juniper, Check Point, and Symantec/Blue Coat rounded out the report rankings, each holding a consistent 2% revenue share in both 2019 and 2020.
Cisco, Huawei Bright Spots in Down Networking Market
Dell’Oro Group’s numbers are based on the sale of campus switches, enterprise data center switches, SD-WAN, enterprise routers, network security, and wireless LAN equipment. That equipment can be used for wired or wireless data communications in private and secure networks.
Overall, market revenues dropped 2% year over year, hitting $28.5 billion in 2020. The drop was attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic that tripped up what had been a 6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2014 and 2019.
Campus and data center switches suffered the biggest drops, while routers and security witnessed increased enterprise spending. The report found that the router and security growth was driven by software and subscription-based products like SD-WAN and software-as-a-service (SaaS) security services.
Boujelbene did note that most of that decline was felt in the first half of 2020, with spending beginning to rebound in the third quarter “as enterprises showed confidence investing for the future” and “government stimulus around the world was also a major factor.”