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FRAMINGHAM, MA – Vendor revenue in the worldwide server market increased 6.1% year-over-year to $13.5 billion in the second quarter of 2015, says the International Data Corp., the fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth.

Revenue grew in rack-optimized, blade, and density-optimized form factors, while towers declined slightly, the firm says.

Worldwide server shipments totaled 2.29 million units during the period, up 3.2% compared to the second quarter of 2014.

On a year-over-year basis, volume system revenue increased 8.1%, and high-end system demand increased 4% to $10.1 billion and $2.3 billion, respectively. The volume segment was aided by a continued expansion of x86-based hyper-scale server infrastructures, coupled with enterprise and SMB refresh of x86-based platforms, while high-end systems were helped by IBM's z13 refresh.

Meanwhile, demand for midrange systems fell 5.4% year-over-year to $1.1 billion, as the x86 refresh appears to have run its course in this segment, says IDC.

"The recent growth trend in the server market is confirmation of the larger IT investment taking place, despite dramatic change occurring in system software, thanks to open source projects such as Docker and OpenStack," said Al Gillen, program vice president, Servers and System Software, IDC. "While we do anticipate an impact on product mix and potentially on volumes, it is too early in the adoption cycle for these new software products to have a material impact on servers today."

HP captured worldwide market share of 25.4% in the second quarter on 7.7% year-over-year revenue growth to $3.4 billion. HP's revenue growth was driven primarily by strong demand for its density-optimized servers, which grew 118.7% year-over-year, and its rack-optimized servers, which grew 10.5% year-over-year.

Dell showed year-over-year growth of 5.9%, and nearly $2.4 billion in revenue placed the company in the number two position, with 17.5% market share for the quarter. Dell benefited from revenue growth in its blade and rack-optimized products, says IDC. Dell's blade server revenue grew faster than that of any of the top five vendors, at 38.7%, discounting Lenovo's acquisition of IBM's x86 server business.

IBM retained its number three position, following its x86 divestiture with $2 billion in revenue and 14.8% market share. IBM's revenues are now associated with its POWER and System Z product lines.

Lenovo and Cisco finished the quarter in a statistical tie for the number four position. Lenovo captured 7% worldwide market share, with $949 million in second quarter revenues. Cisco was close behind with $867 million in revenue and 6.4% revenue market share. Cisco's year-over-year growth of 19.3% was considerably above average for the industry and suggests the company is not done capturing incremental market share in the server market, according to the research firm.
Cisco's blade business also continued to grow well, with Cisco's blade revenue second only to HP.

The US market outpaced Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) in revenue growth year-over-year for the second straight quarter, with a 12.6% increase, while APeJ followed closely at 12% year-over-year growth.

Japan had 6.4% revenue growth. Growth in Western Europe was relatively flat, declining 0.3%. The Middle East and Africa (MEA) had revenue growth of 1.9% year-over-year. Canada, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Latin America had revenue declines of 7.5%, 22.8% and 27.5%, respectively.

Demand for x86 servers improved in the second quarter, with revenues increasing 8.2% year-over-year to $10.8 billion worldwide, as unit shipments increased 3.4% to 2.27 million servers. HP led the market with 29.9% revenue share based on 11.1% revenue growth over the second quarter of 2014. Dell retained second place, securing 21.9% revenue share, following 5.9% year-over-year revenue growth.

Non-x86 server revenue was down 1.4% year-over-year after a strong first quarter. CISC mainframes, on the heels of IBM's z13 refresh last quarter, continued to prop up the non-x86 segment, with 9.2% year-over-year growth.

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