Factory revenue in the worldwide server market increased 5,2% year over year to $15,3-billion in the fourth quarter of 2015 (4Q15).
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, this was the seventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth, as server market demand remained positive due to an on-going enterprise refresh cycle coupled with continued infrastructure buildout by cloud service providers.
Worldwide server shipments increased 3,8% to 2,6-million units in 4Q15 when compared with the same year-ago period. For the full year 2015, worldwide server revenue increased 8% to $55,1-billion when compared to 2014, while worldwide unit shipments increased 4,9% to 9,7-million units, a record high.
On a year-over-year basis, volume system revenue increased 7,4% and midrange system demand increased 0,7% in 4Q15 to $11,6-billion and $1,4-billion, respectively. The volume segment was aided by a continued expansion of x86-based hyper-scale server infrastructures while midrange systems were helped by enterprise investment in scalable systems for virtualization and consolidation.
Meanwhile, 4Q15 demand for high-end systems experienced a year-over-year revenue decline of -2,4% to $2,3-billion in advance of a major IBM z Systems upgrade announced in January.
“The fourth quarter was a solid close to a strong year of growth in the server market, driven by on-premise refresh deployments as well as continued hyperscale cloud deployments,” says Kuba Stolarski, research director: servers and emerging technologies at IDC. “As the cyclical refresh of 2015 comes to an end, the market focus has begun to shift towards software-defined infrastructure and hybrid environment management, as organizations begin to transform their IT infrastructure as well as prepare for the compute demands expected over the next few years from next-gen IT domains such as IoT and cognitive analytics.
“In the short term, 2016 looks to be a year of accelerated cloud infrastructure expansion with existing footprints filling out and new cloud datacenter buildouts across the globe.”
The fourth quarter marks the first time that IBM and Lenovo growth rates are not affected by the latter’s acquisition of IBM’s x86 server business on 1 October 2014.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) retained the number one spot in the worldwide server market with 24,9% market share in factory revenue for 4Q15, as revenue decreased -2,1% year over year to $3,8-billion. HPE experienced slower demand for its x86-based ProLiant servers, particularly in Canada, Japan, and Latin America.
Dell also held its number two position in the worldwide server market following server revenue growth of 5,3% year over year to $2,6-billion, holding 16,7% factory revenue market share in 4Q15.
IBM retained the number three spot with 14,1% share for the quarter as revenue increased 8,9% year-over-year to $2,2-billion in 4Q15. More impressively, IBM experienced strong growth for Power Systems and double-digit growth for its z System mainframes in the quarter.
Lenovo took the number four position with 7,4% market share and $1,1-billion in revenues, a 3,7% factory revenue increase.
Following a year-over-year revenue increase of 20,6% to $928-million, Cisco rounds out the top five server vendors holding 6,1% factory revenue market share in 4Q14.