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Infonetics: 16G Fibre Channel Ramping Fast, Already 42% of the Global SAN Market in 1Q14

Market research firm Infonetics Research released excerpts from its 1st quarter 2014 (1Q14) SAN and Converged Data Center Network Equipment report, which tracks storage area network (SAN) Fibre Channel switches and host bus adapters (HBAs), converged data center network adapters, and switch ports-in-use for storage.


“With 16G Fibre Channel ramping fast, 8G is making a quick exit,” says Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., directing analyst for data center and cloud at Infonetics Research. “16G Fibre Channel solutions now make up 42% of storage area network (SAN) revenue, and we expect to see the continued acceleration of 16G at the expense of 8G and 4G, especially with 32G still two years out.”

“Most of the 16G market is inter-switch, or switch-to-storage array, and not server connections,” adds Grossner.


  • Globally, the SAN market (Fibre Channel switches and host bus adapters) totaled $592 million in 1Q14, down 9% from 4Q13, and down 3% from a year ago
  • Brocade continues to dominate the SAN switch and adapter market, gaining 3 market share points in 1Q14
  • Worldwide converged data center network adapter revenue (Ethernet switch ports-in-use for storage and converged network adapters, or CNAs), declined 4% sequentially in 1Q14, to $549 million
    • CNAs continue to account for the majority of revenue, followed by iSCSI adapters and universal adapters
  • Thanks to its recent acquisitions, QLogic is expected to move into the #2 spot in the converged data center network adapter market in 2Q14
  • In an effort to grab market share, converged data center network adapter vendors are reaching for the cloud, software-defined networking (SDN), and network functions virtualization (NVF)
  • The shift to cloud-architected data centers with automated deployment of virtual workloads is driving a long-term trend toward a converged network with storage and application traffic on Ethernet in the data center


Available on-demand now: Infonetics analyst Michael Howard hosts NFV: An Easier Initial Target Than SDN?, a free event for operators exploring use cases, lessons learned, and recommendations for developing NFV projects:


Infonetics’ quarterly SAN equipment and converged data center network report provides worldwide and regional market size, vendor market share, forecasts through 2018, analysis, and trends for chassis and fixed Fibre Channel switches; Fibre Channel HBAs; converged data center switch ports-in-use for storage (iSCSI, FCoE, FC-to-FCoE); and converged data center network adapters (iSCSI, CNAs, universal). Vendors tracked: Alcatel-Lucent, Arista, ATTO, Brocade, Broadcom, Cisco, Dell, Emulex, HP, IBM (BNT), Intel, Juniper, QLogic, others. To buy the report, contact Infonetics:



Download Infonetics’ 2014 market research brochure, publication calendar, events brochure, report highlights, tables of contents, and more at


Visit to register for upcoming webinars, view recent webinars on demand, or learn about sponsoring a webinar.

  • NFV: An Easier Initial Target Than SDN? (June 19: Attend)
  • Virtualizing Networks with SDN NVOs and Bare Metal Switches (View on-demand)
  • Architecting Application Delivery Control for SDN (Sponsor)
  • Making Your Network Run Hotter With SDN (Sponsor)
  • Buying Data Center Equipment for the Enterprise: Best of Breed or Pre-Packaged (Sponsor)


N. America (West), Asia Pacific: Larry Howard +1 408-583-3335

N.A. (East, Midwest), L. America, EMEA: Scott Coyne +1 408-583-3395

Greater China, SE Asia, India: 大中华区 Jeffrey Song +86 21-3919-8505

Japan 日本 Takashi Kimura, TAK Analytics +81 3-6408-5566

South Korea 대한민국 Doug Moon, MBAP, +82 2-3453-9400


Infonetics Research ( is an international market research and consulting firm serving the communications industry since 1990. A leader in defining and tracking emerging and established technologies in all world regions, Infonetics helps clients plan, strategize, and compete effectively. View Infonetics’ About Us slides at

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