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Cloud Service Providers’ Investment on AI Infrastructure Is Diverting Budget Away from Traditional Front-End Networks

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – September 5, 2023 – According to a recently published report from Dell’Oro Group, the trusted source for market information about the telecommunications, security, networks, and data center industries, global sales of Data Center Switches continued to break record levels for the fifth consecutive quarter in a row. What’s also remarkable is that, for the first time in about five years, the bulk of the growth during the quarter was driven by enterprises, not Cloud SPs.

“The market performance continues to hit high notes, propelled by the release of a substantial backlog. Most of this backlog is from orders placed after the list price increases implemented by most vendors more than a year ago, said Sameh Boujelbene, Vice President at Dell’Oro Group. “Additionally, a larger portion of the second quarter’s shipments was destined to enterprises, resulting in a favorable product mix with higher prices compared to shipments to Cloud SPs. Meanwhile, the music in the Cloud SP arena has begun to fade, as many of them have started to enter a digestion phase following several quarters of robust spending. Furthermore, a sense of urgency pervades as they rush to build cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) infrastructure to accommodate emerging large AI workloads. These investments in AI infrastructure appear to be diverting budget away from traditional front-end networks that typically support general-purpose workloads,” added Boujelbene.

Additional highlights from the 2Q 2023 Ethernet Switch – Data Center Report:

  • Arista, Cisco, and HPE captured most of the revenue growth and were able to gain revenue share during the quarter.
  • Geographically, sales growth was broad-based across all regions, except China.
  • Further fueled by AI applications, shipments of 200 Gbps and 400 Gbps switches constituted approximately 25 percent of the revenue and 20 percent of the total shipments. Although Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta continue to drive the majority of deployments, we observed an increasing number of shipments directed toward Tier 2/3 Cloud Service Providers and Large Enterprises.

About the Report

The Dell’Oro Group Ethernet Switch – Data Center Quarterly Report offers a detailed view of the market, including Ethernet switches for server access, server aggregation, and data center core. (Software is addressed separately.) The report contains in-depth market and vendor-level information on manufacturers’ revenue; ports shipped; average selling prices for both Modular and Fixed Managed and Unmanaged Ethernet Switches (1, 10, 25, 40, 50, 100, 200, 400, ≥800 Gbps); revenue split by market segments as well as regional breakouts. To purchase these reports, please contact us by email at

About Dell’Oro Group

Dell’Oro Group is a market research firm that specializes in strategic competitive analysis in the telecommunication, security, enterprise networks, and data center infrastructure markets. Our firm provides in-depth quantitative data and qualitative analysis to facilitate critical, fact-based business decisions. For more information, contact Dell’Oro Group at +1.650.622.9400 or visit

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