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IT infrastructure grows as cloud takes off

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IT infrastructure spending (server, disk storage and Ethernet switch) for public and private cloud in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) grew by 27% to reach $1,1-billion in revenue in 4Q14, totalling $4,1-billion for the whole year, with 28% growth over 2013.
According to the EMEA portion of the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Cloud Infrastructure Tracker, the cloud-related share of total EMEA infrastructure expenditure on server, disk storage, and Ethernet switch grew by three percentage points to exceed 17% in 2014.

In terms of storage capacity, cloud represented around 32% of total EMEA capacity in 4Q14, with 52% growth over the same period a year before.

For the scope of this tracker, IDC has tracked the following vendors: Cisco, Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Lenovo, NetApp, the major ODM vendors, and others.

IDC expects this market to reach a value of $10.8 billion by 2019, or 39% of the total market expenditure, representing one of the areas of tremendous growth for the European infrastructure sector, compared to the expectation of a stagnant, if not declining, traditional market.

Western Europe accounted for about 82% of the EMEA cloud business in 2014 and saw its cloud investment soar from 15% of the data centre infrastructure spending in 2013 to 19% in 2014 and, in fact, bringing to growth an otherwise stagnant IT infrastructure market. Public cloud in particular, though accounting for only around 8% of total investments, registered the highest year-over-year growth rate (35%). On a quarterly basis, 4Q14 registered 29% growth in cloud investments, just short of $1-billion, versus a total market growth of 3%.

“The Western European market for cloud hardware was the fastest growing among the major regions at the end of 2014, and we believe it is still far from maturity,” says Giorgio Nebuloni, associate director IDC European Cloud Practice.

“Though in public cloud environments the region is lagging the US and China — where the largest Web players have their roots — in 2014 it went through a phase of considerable data centre investments as US multinationals like AWS, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce expanded presence to serve customers with regionally located data centres, and native service providers fought back with investments of their own.”

The emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, captured 18% of EMEA cloud investments in 2014. Despite that the fact that the value in CEE was near double that of MEA, the latter is growing at a faster double-digit rate, in comparison to 2013.

Cloud infrastructure spending in the region is estimated to be 12% from the total addressable server, storage and networking hardware market. Public cloud is still below half of this share.

“Many businesses are reluctant to make the move to public cloud,” says Mohamed Hefny, senior research analyst, Systems and Infrastructure Solutions, IDC CEMA. “They opt alternatively for private cloud deployment off-premises, taking advantage of the relative maturity of local hosters.”