Rack Architecture, x86 Systems Helped Drive Q3 Server Growth

 
 
By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2015-12-07
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - Rack Architecture, x86 Systems Helped Drive Q3 Server Growth
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    Rack Architecture, x86 Systems Helped Drive Q3 Server Growth

    Third-quarter numbers from IDC and Gartner analysts show that the server space is growing, not only in terms of revenue but also in shipments.
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    2 - HPE, Dell Still the Top 2 Vendors
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    HPE, Dell Still the Top 2 Vendors

    In numbers from both IDC and Gartner, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Dell not only held on to the number one and two slots in revenue, they saw their shares of the market increase.
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    3 - Lenovo Big Gainer, IBM Big Loser
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    Lenovo Big Gainer, IBM Big Loser

    Lenovo buying IBM's x86 server business last year had a significant impact on both vendors, with IBM being the only major server OEM to lose revenue (a 42.8 to 44.6 percent drop), while Lenovo saw a huge spike (growth of 536.1 to 545.2 percent).
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    4 - It Wasn't All Bad for IBM
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    It Wasn't All Bad for IBM

    The impact of the Lenovo deal on the numbers for Big Blue skewed IBM's performance to a degree. According to Gartner, beyond the deal, IBM's Power-based RISC business fell 3.1 percent, but its System z mainframe unit saw 15 percent revenue growth. Overall, the server businesses IBM kept showed a 5.1 percent growth.
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    5 - Cisco Continues Its Growth Patterns
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    Cisco Continues Its Growth Patterns

    Both IDC and Gartner found that Cisco—through the strength of its Unified Computing Systems (UCS)—continues to grow revenues by as much as 12.7 percent (IDC) and 13 percent (Gartner). IDC also noted that original design manufacturers also grew revenue by 7.1 percent.
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    6 - Vendors Just Keep on Shipping
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    Vendors Just Keep on Shipping

    All of the top five vendors in server shipments (HPE, Dell, Lenovo, Huawei Technologies and Inspur) increased their numbers during the quarter, with Lenovo recording the largest growth of 183.2 percent, Gartner said. Systems makers worldwide saw shipments collectively fall 2.3 percent.
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    7 - Volume Systems by the Volume
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    Volume Systems by the Volume

    Revenue for volume systems jumped 7 percent in the third quarter to $10.8 billion, helped by the continued expansion of x86-based hyperscale environments and system refreshes by enterprises and SMBs, according to IDC.
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    8 - Good News at the High End As Well
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    Good News at the High End As Well

    High-end systems saw revenue increase 1.2 percent, to $1.4 billion, helped in large part by IBM's z13 refresh, which began in the first quarter, IDC said. However, that refresh is now decelerating.
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    9 - The Midrange Continues to Get Squeezed
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    The Midrange Continues to Get Squeezed

    The x86 refresh with Intel's Xeon "Grantley" chips that help drive demand in the midrange earlier in the year has run its course, IDC analysts said. Revenue in the space shrank 5.8 percent year over year, to $1.2 billion.
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    10 - The Growing Demand for x86
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    The Growing Demand for x86

    Revenue for x86 systems in the third quarter jumped 7.1 percent year over year, to $11.5 billion, with shipments growing 4.5 percent to 2.47 million servers, IDC said.
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    11 - IBM's Mainframes Buoy the Non-x86 Market
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    IBM's Mainframes Buoy the Non-x86 Market

    Revenue for those systems not powered by x86 chips from Intel or Advanced Micro Devices—such as RISC- and Itanium-based servers—fell 5.5 percent in the third quarter after a strong first quarter and a slight decline in the second, IDC said. IBM's System z mainframe business saw 15 percent growth year over year—led by its z13 refresh—which helped soften the decline.
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    12 - Data Centers Embrace Rack-Based Architecture
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    Data Centers Embrace Rack-Based Architecture

    Rack-optimized system revenue grew 9.7 percent and—by contributing 125 percent to unit growth and 112 percent to revenue growth—kept the overall server market from declining, IDC said. In the third quarter, more than 130,000 extra units in this form factor shipped over the same period last year, adding an extra $727 million to the overall market. HPE and Dell contributed to more than half the growth.
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    13 - Asia-Pacific Takes the Lead in Server Revenue
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    Asia-Pacific Takes the Lead in Server Revenue

    In the first two quarters, the United States was number one in server revenue, but the Asia-Pacific region took the top spot, with 24 percent revenue growth, thanks to 32.4 percent growth in China, IDC said. The U.S. growth rate was 4.2 percent. China's strength was seen in Gartner's list of top vendors in server shipments, where the country's Huawei and Inspur ranked fourth and fifth.
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    14 - A Short-Term Look at the Market
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    A Short-Term Look at the Market

    The refreshes driven by Microsoft's ending support for Windows Server 2003 and Intel's Grantley release are ending, but there are opportunities around Microsoft's ending support for SQL Server 2005 in April 2016. IDC estimates that there are about 800,000 servers worldwide still running the software.
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    15 - Emerging Workloads Will Drive Long-Term Growth
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    Emerging Workloads Will Drive Long-Term Growth

    Software-defined, disaggregated servers and systems designed to be deployed at the edge of networks for the Internet of things will fuel growth down the road, according to IDC.
 

Third-quarter market numbers from IDC and Gartner showed a server space that is growing, in large part due to continuing demand for x86-based systems, rack-optimized servers and, to some extent, IBM's new System z13 mainframes. According to the analyst firms, overall server revenue in the last quarter jumped by between 5.1 percent (IDC) and 7.5 percent (Gartner) over the same period last year, while Gartner found that shipments also rose 9.2 percent. Volume system revenue grew, thanks to continued expansion of x86-based hyperscale data centers and system refreshes by both enterprises and SMBs. Rack-optimized systems also were in high demand, with revenue increases of 9.7 percent, outpacing the overall market and, according to IDC, keeping the global server space from slipping into decline. The high-end market was buoyed primarily by continuing demand for IBM's z13 mainframe, which has fueled a refresh trend that started in the first quarter, though it has been decelerating. Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell were big winners, while Lenovo—after buying IBM's x86 business last year—saw steep increases in revenue and shipments. Here's a look at some of the trends found by the analyst firms.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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