Feeds

Cloudy servers shoot to the stratosphere

Rise of the ODMs

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Building out cloudy server and storage services as well as support the gazillion of apps running on iOS and Android devices has the cloudy server business absolutely exploding, say the box-counters at market researcher iSuppli.

In its just-released Compute Platforms (PDF) report, analysts Peter Lin and Matthew Wilkins say that there were 460,000 servers shipping in 2010 that were designed expressly for hyperscale infrastructure workloads that sit behind cloudy applications like those available from Google, Apple, and Amazon. That number presumably includes homegrown servers such as those which Google, Facebook, and Amazon build for themselves – or with the help of contract manufacturers. The number does not include any plain vanilla x86 or RISC servers that cloudy application and infrastructure services providers might happen to buy for their back-ends. iSuppli is counting cloudy boxes used by online app and service providers as well as cloudy boxes that enterprise customers might be installing as they move to the cutting edge and mimic public clouds with their internal operations.

These cloudy servers, sometimes a hybrid of rack and blade servers with all the unnecessary elements ripped out, will be the fastest-growing part of the server business in the coming years, according to iSuppli. The company believes that 647,000 cloud servers shipped last year, up 41 per cent from 2010's levels, and will grow another 35 per cent this year, to 875,000 units.

iSuppli cloud servers

Cloudy server shipments are expanding

iSuppli's forecast calls for cloudy server shipments to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 31 per cent between 2010 and 2015, hitting 1.8 million units in 2015. This growth rate, iSuppli says, is five times faster than the overall growth of the server market worldwide, and – perhaps more significantly – will grow to account for about 15 per cent of total server shipments by 2015. If you do the math on that (which you have to since this data is inside of its for-fee report), it means iSuppli figures 9.2 million servers shipped in 2010 and is projecting that 12 million will ship in 2015. This means that over the five years the overall server market will only expand by 30.7 per cent, thus averaging 6.1 per cent per year. Cloudy server shipments over that same time will grow by an astounding factor of 3.9, according to the forecast.

What this forecast also implies is that growth for blade servers and plain vanilla rack and tower servers – which tend to be loaded up with lots of resilience and redundancy features that cloud apps don't require – will grow a lot more slowly, from 8.72 million units in 2010 to only 10.2 million units by 2015. That's only 16.7 per cent growth over those five years, which is an average growth rate of only 3.3 per cent per year.

Perhaps the most significant change in the server market is not the particular form factor or workload that will be running on top of the machines, but the source of the design and manufacturing of the machines that end user customers buy. Historically, server buyers have gone direct to the big server OEMs or their resellers, but these days – and especially with relatively low-volume, exotic, and often bespoke server designs for hyperscale data centers – companies are cutting out the tier one middlemen such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell, IBM, Fujitsu, and others. Original design manufacturers such as Quanta and Wistron are helping companies design machines and are often building them, too. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.