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Cisco Leads LAN Switch Market, But Users Are Grumbling: Survey

Cisco remains the leader in the LAN switch market, but users are unhappy with the gear manufacturer's prices, and give the vendor lower ratings this year than last year, according to a new survey done by Infonetics Research.

When it comes to pricing, and price-to-performance, users gave higher marks to 3Com, Dell, and HP ProCurve, the survey found.

The survey also found:

  • Companies expect their average LAN switch expenditures to grow 35% over the next two years,
  • The most important criterion for choosing a LAN switch manufacturer is standards compliance, rated as important by 70% of respondents.
  • Other important criteria for choosing a vendor are reputation (overall and as it relates to security) and network incumbency

Cisco remains the leader even though its ratings dropped, in large part because vendors are reluctant to change vendors, according to Infonetics analyst Matthias Machowinski. "Despite the lower value ratings Cisco received in our survey this year, the truth is that organizations are reluctant to change vendors, and if they do, there has to be a very compelling case for doing so," he said in a statement. "Unlike in the router market, there doesn't appear to be a shake-up going on in the switch market. Vendors that make an organization's short list are likely already installed in that network."

The study, " User Plans for LAN Switches: North American Vertical Markets 2005," details the LAN switch purchase plans of 180 medium and large organizations from six verticals (education, finance, federal government, healthcare, manufacturing, retail).