Hyperscale Data Centers Drive Server Growth in Q1: IDC
Lenovo jumped into the top-five rankings thanks to the acquisition of the IBM unit. It essentially tied with Cisco Systems for fourth, with 7.5 percent market share and a 721.6 percent jump in revenue, the analysts said. Cisco had 6.9 percent of the market, with year-over-year revenue growth of 44.4 percent. Given the strong revenue growth, Cisco is expected to continue to gain market share in the server space on the strength of its United Computing System (UCS), according to analysts. IDC said it declares a statistical tie when there is less than 1 percent different in revenue share between vendors, which is why the analysts said Lenovo and Cisco tied for fourth. Also of note was the continued strength of white-box makers. According to IDC's numbers, these original design manufactures (ODMs) combined captured 7.6 percent of the market and saw revenue increase by 22 percent. The rise of hyperscale data centers, software-defined infrastructures, cloud environments, big data and mobility has helped fuel the growing demand for white boxes in not only servers, but also networking and storage. Businesses also are looking for hardware that is optimized for particular workloads. In the server space, ODMs include Foxconn, Quanta, Pegatron and Stack Velocity and others. In addition, the market for high-end systems—driven in large part by IBM's z13 mainframe refresh—saw revenue grow 44.7 percent, to $2.1 billion, and revenue for non-x86 servers, which have seen sharp declines in recent quarters, jumped 31.6 percent over what IDC called a weak first quarter 2014.
"As the market continued to focus on healthy hyperscale datacenter growth, non-x86 servers, in particular high-end mainframes, had significant growth this quarter on the back of IBM's z13 refresh," Kuba Stolarski, research manager for enterprise servers at IDC, said in a statement. He added, however, that he doesn't expect the market to continue growing at such rates. "This quarter does illustrate that there is still significant demand for high-end systems. Even as high-end systems are increasingly being deployed on x86 platforms, opportunities for long-term non-x86 growth still exist with OpenPower and ARM, as customers are looking for non-x86 alternatives to hyperscale problems,” he said.