Week in research: Optical networking rebounds in Q2; Service providers embrace SaaS for internal functions

Optical network hardware spending saw uptick in Q2: What a difference one quarter makes. Following an 11 percent decrease in Q1 2011, overall global optical network equipment sales rose 13 percent in Q2 2011. On a year-over-year basis, WDM optical network equipment spending rose 37 percent and the overall optical market is up 21 percent. Andrew Schmitt, Infonetics Research's directing analyst for optical, said even "If global optical network equipment spending in the second half of 2011 is flat with the first half, total spending for 2011 will be up 6.5%." From a market-specific perspective, ZTE (Shenzhen: 000063.SZ) and Huawei dominated the EMEA market with strong Q2 results, while North America posted modest quarter-over-quarter gains with good performances by Fujitsu and Tellabs (Nasdaq: TLAB). News release

Infonetics Optical Network Hardware 2011

SOHO service spending rises: The growth of the home-based labor force and challenging economic conditions are driving new SOHO (single office/home office) growth. This has prompted In-Stat to forecast that SOHO business spending will exceed the $17 billion mark in 2015. Greg Potter, Analyst, In-Stat argues that segments such as "healthcare and social services, construction, and retail trade market segments will experience the largest overall gains over the forecast period, each increasing their overall spend by $240 million, while cloud computing, as a product category, continues to experience the largest percentage of growth." News release

10 Gbps Ethernet controller, adapters to surge: Driven by strong sales in the adapter portion of the Ethernet market, 10 Gbps Ethernet controller and adapter revenues are forecast to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41 percent over the next five years. "10 Gbps controllers have been placed on motherboards of standalone servers as early as the second half of 2010, but they will not drive down demand for 10 Gbps standalone adapters," said Sameh Boujelbene, an analyst covering the Controller & Adapter market research at Dell'Oro Group. "Based on recent interviews with end users, VARs and server manufacturers, and other compelling factors addressed in the report such as network architecture with designated applications on separate connections, and the increases in the processing and I/O capacity on servers, we forecast that 10 Gbps adapters will continue to be in demand." Boujelbene added that the migration towards 10 Gbps network speeds will not eliminate 1 Gbps since end-users plan to retain certain server applications on 1 Gbps connections. News release

Service providers get SaaS-y: While enterprises and small businesses alike have embraced software as a service (SaaS), service providers themselves have been reluctant to use it for their own internal operational needs. However, a new Yankee Group research note revealed that service providers are becoming more comfortable with provisioning software delivery contracts via SaaS. Susan McNeice, VP of software research with Yankee Group's Network Research group, said that service providers are also "thinking about using SaaS for mission-critical business and operational support system (B/OSS) applications, including ordering, billing and fulfillment." Blog post

MPLS services' popularity on the rise: As business customers reach the end of their traditional Frame Relay and ATM contracts, they are increasingly turning to MPLS-based services. In-Stat predicts that spending on MPLS technology will reach $2.4 billion in 2015, eclipsing ATM and Frame Relay services. News release