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Security Appliances Gain Popularity

At least one area of the IT industry is experiencing double digit growth, according to market research firm IDC -- security appliances.

Factory revenues were $355 million in the fourth quarter of 2002, an increase of 15 percent from the previous quarter, which was the largest sequential growth of 2002.

Of the security appliance market, firewall/VPN appliances are the leading segment at 90 percent of the revenue share in the fourth quarter. The network intrusion detection segment showed the most momentum with 19 percent sequential growth.

"Enterprises increasingly see security appliances as the bedrock of their security posture," Charles Kolodgy, research director for IDC's security products service, said in a statement. Growth is most pronounced among security appliances for small business, branch offices and supporting large data centers.

Cisco leads security appliance vendors worldwide with market share of 37 percent. Nokia, Netscreen, Sonicwall and Watchguard round out the top five vendors in order of market share. However, IDC analyst Chris Christiansen warned that vendors' competitiveness varies at different price levels. "Because customers vary radically by price band, success in one area has no bearing on another market," Christiansen said.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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