Server winners and losers: HPE, Dell EMC still sitting pretty at the top, but uh-oh Lenovo

Beware the 'Others', who now make up 48% of shipments

By Richard Priday

Posted in Servers, 11th December 2017 16:32 GMT

Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell EMC top the league tables for server revenue and sales in Q3, but face rapid growth from its global competition, according to a new Gartner report.

After an encouraging summer, the server market as a whole is growing with $14.7bn (£11bn) in revenue, up 16 per cent year-over-year, and shifting 2.8 million units, a 5.1 per cent increase on last year. Jeffrey Hewitt, VP of Gartner, identified "a build-out of infrastructure to support cloud and hybrid-cloud implementations" as the cause for the uptick.

HPE remains top dog for revenue, making $3.14bn (£2.3bn), despite experiencing a little negative growth (-3.2 per cent), while second-placed Dell made $3.07bn (£2.2bn), growing 37.9 per cent to close the gap between it and its rival.

It's worth noting that while HPE leads as an individual company, companies outside the top five made $5.3bn combined, a $400m increase over last year, which makes the work of the little guys a significant factor in the sector's expansion.

China-based Inspur Electronics must have been eating its greens as it has grown by 116.6 per cent since last year, thanks to success around the world; Gartner highlighting its sales to Chinese cloud providers. It did only make $1.08bn, however, putting it fourth behind HPE, Dell and IBM, which itself increased its year-on-year revenue from $889m to $1.13bn.

In terms of units shipped, the big cheese remains Dell EMC, who shipped 503,000 units, and enjoyed 11.2 per cent growth. HPE came second, selling 463,000, a reduction of 6.2 per cent.

The big swings came from Lenovo, which lost 33.5 per cent of its market share since last year, and Inspur, which expanded its sales by a respectable 69.5 per cent.

Once again the "Others" are dominant by their powers combined, making up 48 per cent of shipments, an increase of 10.4 per cent in a market where most are moving fewer units.

The Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region saw HPE top both revenue and shipments tables, and Dell claiming the two silver medals. Dell's revenue grew by 50.9 per cent, and its shipments by 9.7 per cent, which Adrian O'Connell, research director for Gartner, says is due to its acquisition of EMC.

O'Connell explained what was going on in behind the EMEA numbers. "The increased price of certain components due to supply shortages was the main driver of the revenue growth, as vendors passed increased costs on to users.

"Despite revenues in the third quarter looking relatively positive, the low shipment growth shows the EMEA server market remains constrained. While component shortages will ease, we're not expecting to see an improvement in the underlying business outlook across the region for some time." ®

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