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With data driving everything from handset sales to network capacity investment it shouldn’t be a surprise that the storage area network and data center equipment markets are poised for significant growth. And they are, according to two new reports this week from Infonetics Research.

Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for Enterprise Networks and Video at Infonetics, said in his third-quarter Data Center Network Equipment market share and forecast report, that a new round of data center upgrades is underway, driven by virtualization, surging amounts of data, the growing need for storage, under-investment in 2009, and renewed life in the financial sector.

“Even with a relatively flat third quarter and an expected down fourth quarter, the market for data center network equipment is poised to grow 67 percent in 2010 over 2009 to hit a milestone $7.6 billion worldwide,” Machowinski said.

In the latest quarter, he said worldwide revenue from data center network equipment, including data center Ethernet switches, application delivery controllers and wide area network optimization appliances, grew 2 percent from last quarter to $1.9 billion. The markets in North America and Europe, Middle East and Africa led the way.

Application delivery controllers are getting a lot of attention in the data center upgrade process as well as a healthy telecom sector and a healthier financial sector. F5 Networks continues to lead that sector while Citrix surpassed Cisco for the first time with a 35 percent jump in revenue.

Riverbed also saw a surge in WAN optimization appliance revenue. The 22 percent spurt gave it a double-digit lead over its nearest competitor.

In another report, Michael Howard, principal analyst for Carrier and Data Center Networks, said the storage area networking equipment market will more than double by 2014. He said the SAN market is being driven by the consistently huge growth of storage each quarter. This, he said, is fundamentally driven by the creation and accumulation of video and data content in data centers around the globe.

“We see steady growth ahead, with most of the economic downturn behind us, particularly in North America, which had 45 percent of worldwide SAN revenue in the third quarter of 2010,” Howard said.

According to the report, SAN switch and SAN adapter revenue grew to $683 million worldwide in 3Q10, up 7 percent from 2Q10. By it will reach $6.6 billion.

Brocade is the leader there although Cisco is catching up.

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