Growth of Large Cloud Providers Spurs Server Market Growth

Today’s topics include large cloud providers fueling growth in the server market, and Russian social media activities impacting U.S. elections.

Analysts from IDC reported last week that revenue in the worldwide server space jumped 37.7 percent in the third quarter when compared with the same period last year. Overall revenue hit $23.4 billion and shipments jumped 18.3 percent to 3.2 million units, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth and the highest total revenue ever for a single quarter.

The analysts attributed much of the growth to the large cloud service providers including Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, as well as an ongoing refresh cycle in enterprise data centers to handle such emerging workloads as big data analytics and artificial intelligence.

According to Sebastian Lagana, research manager of infrastructure platforms and technologies at IDC, "Enterprise infrastructure requirements from resource intensive next-generation applications support increasingly rich configurations, ensuring average selling prices remain elevated against the year-ago quarter. At the same time, hyperscalers continue to upgrade and expand their data center capabilities."

A series of reports to the Senate Intelligence Committee detailing efforts by the Russian government to use social media to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential elections was released on Dec. 17.

The Russian Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg demonstrated a sophisticated knowledge of how to use social media to sow dissention among Americans, to suppress voting among targeted groups and to ensure that Russia’s talking points were spread far and wide.

The studies of the IRA’s activities point to a concerted, centralized effort by Russia to influence elections in the U.S. in ways that provide the outcomes that the Russian government wanted. This included a coordinated effort to suppress voting by black citizens through a series of initiatives to encourage a voter boycott and to discourage belief in civil institutions.

The Senate report specifically says that the Russian efforts were aimed at getting Donald Trump elected president, and then, once that happened, to discourage opposition.