IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

MSPs Face Highly Fragmented Network Hardware Market, Finds Auvik Report

The network hardware market is highly fragmented, with hundreds of equipment vendors vying for market share, says a new report from Auvik Networks.

There is intense competition in the network switch, router, firewall, and access point hardware markets, with upwards of 40 vendors competing in each category. A handful of industry heavyweights account for most of the devices on MSP-managed networks, while dozens and dozens of smaller vendors battle over the bottom 20% of the market. 

  • The most crowded network device category is switches, with 102 vendors competing for a presence on MSP-managed networks.
  • The network vendor most commonly deployed on MSP-managed networks is Cisco (including Cisco-owned Meraki) with 36.2% of devices. HP (including HP-owned Aruba) is the second most common vendor, with 19.6% of devices.
  • The top 9 most commonly deployed vendors across all device categories—Cisco, HP, Meraki, Ubiquiti, SonicWALL, Aruba, Ruckus, Dell, and NETGEAR—claim around 80% of the market.

The report also highlights the diversity of network hardware MSPs are responsible for managing.

  • More than three-quarters of MSPs manage four or more network vendors across their client base.
  • The most diversified MSPs manage upwards of a staggering 20 different network vendors.
  • Large networks generally have more vendors represented than small networks.

“These findings underscore the difficulties IT service providers face in trying to standardize a hardware stack across their client portfolio,” says Alex Hoff, VP of product and sales at Auvik Networks. “This diversity can drag on an MSP’s efficiency, and ultimately their profitability, since it challenges their ability to scale.”

The report, titled Managing Network Vendor Diversity: The MSP Challenge, is based on data from close to 100,000 network devices deployed across nearly 17,000 networks under the care and management of about 1,000 MSPs.

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