Server sales boosted by hyperscale computing and service providers

Hyperscale datacentre deployments and service provider installations are driving x86-based server sales

Hyperscale datacentre deployments and service provider installations are driving x86-based server market sales.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, worldwide x86 server shipments increased by 4.8% and revenues grew by 2.2%, compared with the same quarter in 2013, according to analyst Gartner.

Gartner noted that overall, businesses bought fewer servers in 2014, due to server consolidation. 

"Worldwide, hyperscale datacentre deployments and service provider installations drove the x86-based server market upwards," said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice-president at Gartner.

HP led the worldwide server market, based on revenue, in the fourth quarter of 2014 (see table below), but only grew by 1.5% year-on-year.

Gartner noted that HP’s revenue increased at a greater rate than its shipments, as it sold more high-end servers to support server consolidation through virtualisation.

In Europe, Gartner said HP grew by 10% in the fourth quarter, due to strong demand for modular servers, replacement demand due to the latest ninth-generation platforms and competitive growth.

IBM’s global revenues declined by 50.6%, while Lenovo's grew by 743.4% as a result of its purchase of IBM’s x86 server business.

Worldwide server supplier revenue estimates, fourth quarter 2014
Company Q4 2014 revenue (US$)

Q4 2014 market share

Q4 2014 revenue (US$)

Q4 2013-
Q4 2014 growth

HP

3,897,668,666

27.9%

3,839,527,072

1.5%

Dell

2,425,147,102

17.3%

2,074,167,350

16.9%

IBM

1,788,907,117

12.8%

3,662,900,853

-50.6%

Lenovo

1,103,620,000

7.9%

130,855,009

743.4%

Cisco

772,200,000

5.5%

646,100,000

19.5%

Others

3,992,675,197

28.6%

3,360,032,355

18.8%

Total

13,980,218,081

100%

13,673,582,640

2.2%

Source: Gartner (March 2015)

Cisco grew its server business by 19.3% in the quarter, giving it a 5.5% share of the server market and putting it fifth, behind Lenovo. 

"Recently, the biggest opportunity for Cisco has been in IBM accounts, due to the divestiture of the x86 businesses, where some organisations were concerned about working with a different supplier," said Errol Rasit, research director at Gartner. 

"But the biggest momentum has been its integrated systems, such as UCS and VCE (VMware, EMC and Cisco alliance), as well as FlexPoint integration with NetApp storage. These are helping to drive sales," he added.

As for Oracle, its server sales were not significant enough to break out, although Rasit said it was a top 10 server supplier. 

"Oracle is still a relatively small player and selling plenty of engineered systems, but it faces competition from Chinese suppliers, where it is being outpaced," he added.

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