Data Centre


Servers sales are up. Nope, you read that right

But HPE, IBM, Cisco and Dell weren't the major beneficiaries... Chinese ODMs were

By Chris Mellor


In the server sales growth stakes the big Chinese brands appear to be winning the war against their US rivals, at least if Gartner’s latest stats covering calendar Q2 are to be believed.

The global market edged up 2.8 per cent year-on-year in revenue terms to $13.93bn as unit shipments climbed 2.4 per cent to 2.82 million servers, indicating that the average price of those boxes sold went up in the period.

“The growth for the quarter is attributable to two main factors,” said Jeffrey Hewitt, research veep at Gartner.

“The first is strong regional performance in Asia Pacific because of data centre infrastructure build outs, mostly in China. The second is ongoing hyper scale data centre growth that is exhibited in the self/build/ ODM segment.”

Hewlett Packard Enterprise held onto the top spot in the market in terms of factory revenues despite reporting a 9.4 per cent decline in sales to $3.53bn. HPE units dropped 8.7 per cent to a little over 483k units.

Dell bagged the second spot with revenues of $2.77bn, up 7 per cent on shipments of 492.8k, down 6.9 per cent. IBM just held onto the third spot in value with its Power line, even though it posted a 21.5 per cent crash in revenues to $962.2m and saw its market share fall to less than one point above Cisco.

The networking giant posted a revenue gain of less than one per cent to $866.4m, meaning it is creeping up on IBM. Cisco, like Big Blue, didn’t feature among the top five biggest shifters of server tin.

But the surprise, we find Huawei in fifth with sales of $845.5m, up a whopping 57.8 per cent. In unit shipments, Huawei jumped 26 per cent to 176.4k.

Inspur Electronics didn’t make it into the top five for vendor revenues, but was the fourth biggest seller of server volumes, growing 31.5 per cent to 158k units. Lenovo sales fell 38.1 per cent to 145.6k servers.

The Others segment in Gartner’s estimates - where more ODMs reside - grew 10 per cent to $5.28bn, accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the total server sector. Units sales from these companies was 1.357m, up 13.6 per cent.

Service providers including Facebook and Google buy their servers directly from these Chinese contract manufacturers and so far HPE and latterly Dell have yet to find a way of wrestling that business from them. ®

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