According to research firm IDC, vendor revenue in the worldwide server market increased 6.1% year-over-year to $13.5 billion in the second quarter of 2015 (2Q15), the fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth.
The quarter revenue grew in rack-optimized, blade, and density-optimized form factors, while towers declined slightly, IDC said.
Worldwide server shipments totaled 2.29 million units in 2Q15, an increase of 3.2% when compared with the second quarter of 2014.
On a year-over-year basis, volume system revenue increased 8.1% and high-end system demand increased 4.0% in 2Q15 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 in 2Q15 contracted by -5.4% year over year to $1.1 billion, as the x86 refresh appears to have run its course in this segment.
“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 for servers and system software at 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. In the meantime, the market demonstrated healthy revenue and shipment growth this quarter.”
Overall server market standings
HP captured worldwide market share of 25.4% in 2Q15 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 at a more modest 10.5% year over year but still managed to contribute a larger portion to HP’s overall revenue growth.
Dell showed year-over-year growth of 5.9% and its nearly $2.4 billion of revenue placed the company in the number 2 position with 17.5% market share this quarter. Dell benefited from revenue growth in its blade and rack-optimized products. Dell’s blade server revenue grew faster than that of any of the top 5 vendors at 38.7%, discounting Lenovo’s acquisition of IBM’s x86 server business.
IBM retained its number 3 position following its x86 divestiture with $2.0 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 4 position. Lenovo captured 7.0% worldwide market share with $949 million in 2Q15 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. Cisco’s blade business also continued to grow well, with Cisco’s blade revenue second only to HP in 2Q15.
“After a huge surge in revenue in the first quarter of 2015, IBM’s z13 refresh predictably continued into the second quarter at a more modest pace,” said Kuba Stolarski, research manager for enterprise servers at IDC.
“As some customers migrate their high-end workloads to new scale-up x86 platforms, opportunities for long-term non-x86 growth still exist with OpenPower and ARM, two of the most oft-mentioned potential alternatives to x86 architecture for hyperscale and cloud settings.
?As customers look to the future, alternatives to contemporary IT solutions reside not just in chip architecture, but throughout the value chain: from software defined solutions, to disaggregation and composable systems, to network-deployed, edge-enabled IoT compute, the server market landscape is changing dramatically.?