IDC Predicts Steady Growth in Cloud Server Market Through 2014
IT researcher IDC reported May 10 that the combination of an aging server installed base, IT managers' increasing need to rein in virtual machines, and a general upturn in the buying environment is boosting sales of commodity-type servers used in public and private cloud-computing systems.
Based on its first cloud computing survey focused exclusively on servers, IDC predicted that server revenue in the public cloud category will grow from $582 million in 2009 to $718 million in 2014. Server revenue for the much larger private cloud market will grow from $7.3 billion to $11.8 billion [about 62 percent] in the same time period, IDC said.
Cloud, or utility, computing serves up computing power, data storage or applications from one data center location over a grid to thousands or millions of users on a subscription basis.
This general kind of cloud-for example, services of the type provided online by Amazon EC2, Google Apps and Salesforce.com-is known as a public cloud, because any business or individual can subscribe.
Private cloud computing differs in that smaller, cloudlike IT systems within a firewall offer similar services, but to a closed internal network. This network may include corporate or division offices, other companies that are also business partners, raw-material suppliers, resellers, production-chain entities and other organizations intimately connected with a corporate mother ship.
The servers discussed in IDC's survey are distinguished from conventional application and Web servers by the fact that they are simpler in nature, IDC analyst Katherine Broderick told eWEEK.
The servers in the study generally have lower average prices than an enterprise x86-based server, Broderick said. "It's more about volume than value in the cloud space," she said.
The report also found that nearly half of respondents (44 percent) are considering the deployment of private clouds in their IT systems, and that public cloud services appear less likely to be broadly adopted than private clouds, Broderick said.
"It was a bit surprising to me that there is a large distinction [for] the IT decision makers between private and public [clouds]. They know the differences; they see them as very separate things," Broderick said.
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