Worldwide Server Market Revenue Jumps 6.3% in the Second Quarter Driven by Strong Hyperscale Shipments


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According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, vendor revenue in the worldwide server market increased 6.3% year over year to $15.7 billion in the second quarter of 2017 (2Q17). Overall server market growth rebounded after several slow quarters as much of the market had been waiting for availability of Intel's new Skylake processors. While demand from cloud service providers propped up overall market performance, many other areas of the server market are still stagnant. Worldwide server shipments increased 1.9% year over year to 2.45 million units in 2Q17.

Volume server revenue increased by 8.3% to $12.9 billion, while midrange server revenue grew 19.6% to $1.5 billion. Demand for high-end systems experienced a year-over-year revenue decline of 18.9% to $1.3 billion. IDC expects continued long-term secular declines in high-end system revenue.

"Hyperscalers as a group made a large deployment push in the second quarter led by Amazon, which alone accounted for more than 10% of server units shipped in the quarter," said Kuba Stolarski, research director, Computing Platforms at IDC. "As hyperscalers tend to lead the market on most architectural updates, we expect the rest of the market to catch up over the next several quarters. As the market cycles through this refresh, we are seeing changes in vendor portfolios with new modular system designs and a greater focus on accelerator technologies, as well as the continued evolution of the role of cloud services in corporate IT."

Overall Server Market Standings, by Company

HPE/New H3C Group remained first in the worldwide server market with 21.3% market share in 2Q17, as revenue decreased 8.4% year over year to $3.3 billion. HPE's share and year-over-year growth rate includes revenues from the H3C joint venture in China that began in May of 2016; thus, the reported HPE/New H3C Group combines server revenue for both companies globally. Dell Inc maintained the second position in the worldwide server market with 17.7% of vendor revenue for the quarter and 7.0% year-over-year growth to $2.8 billion. IBM and Cisco were statistically tied for the third market position. IBM had 6.6% share, with revenue declining 20.8% year over year to $1.0 billion. Cisco had 5.6% share, with revenue increasing 1.7% to $875 million. Lenovo was ranked fifth with 5.3% share and revenue declining 13.9% to $834 million. The ODM Direct group of vendors grew revenue by 48.1% to $3.5 billion.

"ODM shipments continue to gain share as large datacenters find it attractive to custom build their server designs at attractive volume prices. Demand for two-socket form factors continues to control a majority of unit shipments now and going forward as they are the sweet spot for density-optimized servers which are used in datacenters," said Lloyd Cohen, director of Worldwide Market Analysis, Computing Platforms at IDC. "Two-socket machines are attractive for datacenter deployment in terms of both power usage and cost per server."

Top Server Market Findings

  • On a geographic basis, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) was the fastest growing region with 13.5% year-over-year growth, followed by Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) with 12.9%. Within Asia/Pacific, China had strong growth of 10.3%. The United States increased 7.1%, Japan declined 2.2%, Western Europe increased 2.7%, Latin America declined 11.5%, and Middle East and Africa declined 3.3%.
  • Demand for x86 servers increased 10.4% in 2Q17 with $14.3 billion in revenues. Non-x86 servers declined 21.5% year over year to $1.5 billion.
  • HPE and Dell Inc were in a statistical tie for first place in unit share, with 20.7% and 20.1% share of worldwide shipments, respectively.
  • IDC initiated reporting Super Micro results in the Server Tracker with this release. Super Micro grew 49.8% year over year in 2Q'17 to $448 million and 2.9% market revenue share.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading media, data and marketing services company that activates and engages the most influential technology buyers.

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