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Global Server Sales Top $55B in 2015

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted March 10, 2016


The global server market grew both in terms of revenue and units shipped in 2015, according to the latest figures from analyst firms IDC and Gartner.

For the fourth quarter of 2015, IDC reported that worldwide server market revenue came in at Server Worldwide Revenues$15.3 billion, for a 5.2 percent year-over-year gain. For all of 2015, IDC reported global server revenue of $55.1 billion, for an 8.0 percent gain over 2014.

Rival analyst firm Gartner reported that fourth quarter 2015 server revenues were $15.1 billion, for an 8.2 percent year-over-year gain. Gartner reported full-year growth for the server market to be 10.1 percent.

By volume, Gartner reported that in the fourth quarter of 2015, 2.96 million servers were shipped, for a 9.2 percent growth rate, while the full year growth for server shipments was reported at 9.9 percent.

In contrast, IDC reported global server shipments grew by 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 2.6 million units. Overall for all of 2015, IDC reported that a record-high 9.7 million servers were shipped, for a 4.9 percent year-over-year gain.

HPE Leads in Server Revenue and Shipments

The top vendor by revenue and shipments according to both Gartner and IDC was Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). IDC pegged HPE's share in the fourth quarter at 24.9 percent and full-year share at 25.6 percent.

Gartner in turn reported that HPE's fourth quarter share was 25.2 percent of the market. Following HPE on the server leaderboard is Dell, IBM, Lenovo and Cisco. That said, both Gartner and IDC showed strong growth from Original Device Manufacturers (ODMs) that build whitebox servers.

"The real growth driver for the quarter in terms of absolute value was the Other Vendors category," Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement. "This collection of unspecified vendors that includes original design manufacturers (ODMs), like Quanta and Wistron, contributed over $750 million in revenue and over 170,000 server unit shipments for the period.

Hewitt add that, "this demonstrates that the growth of hyperscale data centers, like those of Facebook, Google and Microsoft, continues to be the leading contributor to physical server increases globally."

As usual, x86 servers continued to grow in 2015. IDC reported that in the fourth quarter of 2015, x86 server revenues were $12.5 billion, for an 8.0 percent year-over-year gain. IDC reported that the non-x86 server segment in the fourth quarter of 2015 had a revenue decline of 5.4 percent, coming in at $2.9 billion.


Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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