Network Hardware Market, Featuring Cisco, HP, Dell, In Fragments
Auvik Networks just released a new report that paints a picture of a seriously fragmented and crowded network hardware market, due to hundreds of equipment vendors all chomping at the market share bit.
This means that MSPs, which manage anywhere from a small amount of client networks to more than 100, are facing a rather large hurdle: There’s high diversity in the network hardware they operate.
“Before examining the data for this year’s report, we had this theory that successful, high-operational maturity MSPs would have [fewer] vendors under management,” said Alex Hoff, founder and chief product officer at Auvik Networks. “As we began working on the report and analyzing the data, the general assumption that MSPs are doing a good job of standardizing proved false — it’s getting worse, not better. They are managing more vendors now, so they aren’t able to standardize to a single vendor’s brand standards.”
This obviously translates to a drag on efficiency, and ultimately, profitability.
The report, titled Managing Network Vendor Diversity: The MSP Challenge Continues, shows increasing competition in the network access point, switch, router, and firewall hardware markets. It accounts for 350 device vendors, and more than 50 vendors compete in each device category.
- The most commonly deployed network device on client sites is access points, accounting for more than 44% of devices on networks of all sizes.
- The most competitive network device category is switches, with 124 vendors. The top nine category vendors account for nearly 94% of switches.
- The most commonly deployed network vendor on MSP-managed networks is Cisco (including Cisco-owned Meraki), who makes up more than 32% of devices.
- The top nine most commonly deployed vendors across all device categories – Cisco, HP, Meraki, Ubiquiti, Ruckus, Aruba, SonicWall, Dell, NETGEAR, and Fortinet – claim approximately 80% of devices across all networks.
The report also highlights the influence of a number of evolving industry trends on the data.
- Growing business demand for wireless connectivity appears to be driving increased numbers of access points on MSP-managed networks.
- SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) technology is growing in popularity and rendering traditional branch routers obsolete.
- Stagnant switch technology has leveled the playing field for vendors, which increases the category’s fragmentation.
It’s not an easy problem to solve, certainly; MSPs are on the hook, now more than ever, for making sure things are up to snuff.
“MSPs need to drive standardization,” says Hoff. “You’ve got to dictate your fate.”
The report is based on data from more than 240,000 managed network devices deployed across nearly 35,000 networks under the care and management of more than 2,000 IT MSPs.