Worldwide Server Revenue Grew 17.8 Per Cent in the Fourth Quarter of 2018

The worldwide server market continued to grow through 2018 as worldwide server revenue increased 17.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018, while shipments grew 8.5 per cent year over year, according to Gartner, Inc. In all of 2018, worldwide server shipments grew 13.1 per cent and server revenue increased 30.1 per cent compared with full-year 2017.

“Hyperscale and service providers continued to increase their investments in their data centres (albeit at lower levels than at the start of 2017) to meet customers’ rising service demand, as well as enterprises’ services purchases from cloud providers,” said Kiyomi Yamada, senior principal analyst at Gartner. “To exploit data centre infrastructure market disruption, technology product managers for server providers should prepare for continued increases in server demand through 2019, although growth will be a slower pace than in 2018.”

“DRAM prices started to come down, increasing demand for memory-rich configurations to support emerging workloads such as artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics kept buoying server prices. Product managers should market higher memory content servers to take advantage of DRAM oversupplies.”

Dell EMC secured the top spot in the worldwide server market based on revenue in the fourth quarter of 2018 (see Table 1). Dell EMC ended the year with 20.2 per cent market share, followed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) with 17.7 per cent of the market. Huawei experienced the strongest growth in the quarter, growing 45.9 per cent.

Table 1

Worldwide: Server Vendor Revenue Estimates, 4Q18 (US Dollars)

Company

4Q18

Revenue

4Q18 Market Share (%)

4Q17

Revenue

4Q17 Market Share (%)

4Q18-4Q17 Growth (%)

Dell EMC

4,426,376,116

20.2

3,606,976,178

19.4

22.7

HPE

3,876,819,483

17.7

3,578,005,770

19.3

8.4

Huawei

1,815,071,726

8.3

1,244,382,075

6.7

45.9

Inspur Electronics

1,801,622,141

8.2

1,260,671,411

6.8

42.9

IBM

1,783,691,221

8.2

2,623,501,533

14.1

-32.0

Others

8,158,910,239

37.3

6,243,556,262

33.6

30.7

Total

21,862,491,037

100.0

18,556,994,228

100.0

17.8

Source: Gartner (March 2019)

In server shipments, Dell EMC maintained the No. 1 position in the fourth quarter of 2018 with 16.7 per cent market share (see Table 2). HPE secured the second spot with 12.2 per cent of the market. Both Dell EMC and HPE experienced declines in server shipments, while Inspur Electronics experienced the strongest growth with a 24.6 per cent increase in shipments in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Table 2

Worldwide: Server Vendor Shipments Estimates, 4Q18 (Units)

Company

4Q18

Shipments

4Q18 Market Share (%)

4Q17

Shipments

4Q17 Market Share (%)

4Q18-4Q17 Growth (%)

Dell EMC

580,580

16.7

582,720

18.3

-0.4

HPE

424,347

12.2

443,854

13.9

-4.4

Inspur Electronics

293,702

8.5

235,658

7.4

24.6

Huawei

260,193

7.5

257,916

8.1

0.9

Lenovo

191,032

5.5

181,523

5.7

5.2

Others

1,723,032

49.6

1,499,593

46.8

14.9

Total

3,472,886

100.0

3,201,264

100.0

8.5

Source: Gartner (March 2019)

The x86 server market increased in revenue by 27.1 per cent, and shipments were up 8.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Full-Year 2018 Server Market Results

In terms of regional results, in 2018, Asia/Pacific and North America posted strong growth in revenue with 38.3 per cent and 34 per cent, respectively. In terms of shipments, Asia/Pacific grew 17.6 per cent and North America grew 15.9 per cent year over year.

EMEA grew 3.1 percent in shipments and 20.4 percent in revenue. Latin America grew 20.9 per cent in revenue, but declined 4.4 per cent in shipments. Japan grew 3.3 per cent in revenue, 2.1 per cent in shipments.

EMEA Server Market Results in the Fourth Quarter of 2018 and Full Year

In the fourth quarter of 2018, server revenue in EMEA totalled more than $4.4 billion, growing 12.3 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2017 (see Table 3). Server shipments totalled 586,000 units, a growth of 6.6 per cent year over year (see Table 4).

“The EMEA market ended the fourth quarter, and the overall year, positively with both good shipment and good revenue growth,” said Adrian O'Connell, senior research director at Gartner. “Although these levels of growth were positive, a large part of the revenue increase was due to higher component costs — which lead to higher system prices. It’s also important to recognise that total shipments were lower in 2018 than they had been in 2016.”

Table 3

EMEA: Server Vendor Revenue Estimates, 4Q18 (US Dollars)

Company

4Q18

Revenue

4Q18 Market Share (%)

4Q17

Revenue

4Q17 Market Share (%)

4Q18-4Q17 Growth (%)

HPE

1,371,829,234

31.1

1,167,670,893

29.7

17.5

Dell EMC

1,146,760,804

26.0

871,675,013

22.2

31.6

IBM

423,945,981

9.6

524,466,677

13.4

-19.2

Lenovo

354,401,013

8.0

309,482,123

7.9

14.5

Cisco

254,092,000

5.8

242,900,000

6.2

4.6

Other

861,105,331

19.5

812,002,658

20.7

6.0

Total

4,412,134,362

100.0

3,928,197,364

100.0

12.3

Source: Gartner (March 2019)

In revenue terms, all of the top five vendors except IBM grew in the fourth quarter of 2018. HPE retained the No. 1 position and increased its revenue share. Second-ranked Dell EMC saw the strongest growth from the fourth quarter of 2017, but third-ranked IBM experienced a revenue decline. “EMEA continues to be a strong region for HPE, and the EMC acquisition continues to drive very good server revenue growth for Dell EMC, but the cyclical nature of the high-end server business is currently hampering IBM,” said Mr O'Connell.

As in the rest of 2018, while the revenue results are positive, the moderate shipments — which continue to be lower than in previous years — indicate a relatively weak underlying demand across the EMEA market.

“The price increase due to higher component costs will ease as we go through 2019,” said Mr O'Connell. “Key component supply levels have already significantly eased and we expect this to be passed on to the users in the form of lower server prices as we go through 2019. So, the outlook for revenue will certainly be weaker than in 2018, and the relatively weak level of underlying demand across EMEA also looks set to continue.”

Table 4

EMEA: Server Vendor Shipment Estimates, 4Q18 (Units)

Company

4Q18

Shipments

4Q18 Market Share (%)

4Q17

Shipments

4Q17 Market Share (%)

4Q18-4Q17 Growth (%)

HPE

162,375

27.7

159,111

29.0

2.1

Dell EMC

145,900

24.9

140,552

25.6

3.8

Lenovo

37,974

6.5

33,079

6.0

14.8

Cisco

23,603

4.0

20,803

3.8

13.5

Fujitsu

22,948

3.9

21,829

4.0

5.1

Others

192,899

32.9

174,216

31.7

10.7

Total

585,698

100.0

549,591

100.0

6.6

Source: Gartner (March 2019) 

Server market trends and infrastructure and operations will be further discussed at the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies events taking place 4-5 June in Frankfurt and 25-26 November in London. Follow news and updates from these events on Twitter using #GartnerIO.

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