There is once again reason to be somewhat optimistic about the global server market, as both IDC and Gartner are reporting growth for vendors in the fourth quarter of 2014.
IDC is reporting revenue for the global server market in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14) came in at $14.5 billion, representing 1.9 percent year-over-year growth. IDC noted that the fourth quarter was the third consecutive quarter for server revenue growth.
Looking at all of 2014, IDC reported that global server revenues hit $50.9 billion in 2014, for a 2.3 percent gain over 2013.
Driving that revenue growth are increased global server shipments. IDC reported that in the fourth quarter 2.5 million servers were shipped, for a 2.8 percent year-over-year growth rate.
For the full year, IDC noted that an all-time record high of 9.2 million servers shipped in 2014, representing a 2.9 percent gain over 2013. Gartner also reported global server shipment growth, though for Gartner the global year-over-year shipment growth was pegged at 2.2 percent.
x86 Servers Continue to Drive Server Growth
Leading server growth is the x86 segment of the market, which IDC reported as growing by 7.1 percent in 4Q14 on a yearly basis. Non-x86 servers are going the other way, with IDC reporting a revenue decline of 14 percent in 4Q14. IBM holds the largest share in the non-x86 server market, and it had a 19.2 percent revenue decline in 4Q14.
"On a worldwide basis, hyperscale data center deployments as well as service provider installations drove the x86-based server market upward," Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement. "Enterprises had less unit growth impact because of the ongoing presence of physical server consolidation through x86-server virtualization."
Both Gartner and IDC placed HP as the leading global server vendor for 4Q14. Gartner reported that HP has a 27.9 percent market share on revenue of $3.9 billion. Gartner has Dell in second place with 17.3 percent share on revenue of $2.4 billion.
For the full year HP is at the top as well, with IDC reporting that HP had a 26.2 percent market share on revenues of $13.3 billion. For the full year IDC places IBM in second place with revenues of $9.4 billion, for an 18.4 percent share. Dell holds down the third spot with 17.6 percent market share on revenue of $9 billion.
"Public cloud service providers continue their hyperscale deployment march as both large and mid-sized service providers expand their datacenter footprints to meet growing cloud services demand, led by cloud hosting services," Kuba Stolarski, Research Manager, Enterprise Servers at IDC, said in a statement.
"As we look forward over the next few years, server demand will continue to see aggressive hyperscale growth, as well as interrelated greenfield opportunities attached to Internet of Things (IoT) solutions," Stolarski continued.