Who says the future of IT is all in software? All software has to run on some sort of processor, physical or virtual, and all those have to run on something you can see and touch. And with the continuing deluge of data pouring into servers and storage arrays, there is no shortage of processors happening anytime soon.
Thus, IT hardware sales are going nowhere but up and to the right. Gartner has some new numbers that back up this trend.
The industry researcher is projecting that worldwide data center hardware spending will reach $98.9 billion by the end of calendar year 2011, up 12.7 percent from $87.8 billion in 2010, according to a report it published Oct. 13. Data center hardware spending is forecast to total $106.4 billion in 2012 and surpass $126.2 billion in 2015.
Data center hardware spending includes servers, storage and enterprise data center networking equipment.
Back to Pre-Downturn Levels
"Worldwide data center hardware spending will finally reach and surpass 2008 levels," said Jon Hardcastle, research director at Gartner. "Growth in emerging regions-particularly Brazil, Russia, India and China (the BRIC countries)-is balanced by continued weakness relative to pre-downturn levels in Japan and Western Europe."
Storage is the main driver for growth, Hardcastle said. "Although only a quarter of data center hardware spending is on storage, almost half of the growth in spending will be from the storage market," he said.
The largest-size category of data centers (data centers with more than 500 racks of equipment) will increase its share of spending from 20 percent in 2010 to 26 percent in 2015, driven by the cloud and the shift from internal data center provision to external, Gartner said.
In 2010, 2 percent of data centers contained 52 percent of total data center floor space and accounted for 63 percent of data center hardware spending. In 2015, 2 percent of data centers will contain 60 percent of data center floor space and account for 71 percent of data center hardware spending, the researcher said.
Additional information is available in the Gartner report "Forecast: Data Centers, Worldwide, 2010-2015."
Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of research at Gartner, will provide the latest outlook for the IT industry during the opening keynote at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Fla., on Monday, Oct. 17.