Servers: HPE top for revenue, Dell EMC number one for shipments, Huawei rising fast

Updated: Giant datacenter projects fuel demand for servers, and x86 servers rise as RISC drops.

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Server shipments and revenue crept up slightly in the second quarter of 2017 after dipping in the first three months of the year.

In the second quarter of 2017, worldwide server revenue increased 2.8 percent year on year, while shipments grew 2.4 percent from the second quarter of 2016, according to Gartner.

Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at analyst firm Gartner, said the growth was down to two main factors: major datacenter building projects, largely in China, and ongoing hyperscale datacenter growth from the likes of Facebook and Google.

Enterprise spending has seen slower growth recently as businesses look to virtualise more applications (which requires less physical hardware) and move applications to the cloud (which requires less server spending by enterprises but more by those hyperscale cloud providers).

"Enterprise server spending remains somewhat flat for now as hyperscale data centers provide services to accommodate significant greenfield growth," Hewitt told ZDNet.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) continued to be the top server company, based on worldwide server revenue. Despite a decline of 9.4 percent, the company posted $3.2 billion in revenue and accounted for 23 percent market share for the second quarter of 2017.

Dell EMC was in the second spot with seven percent growth, 19.9 percent market share and $2.7bn in revenue. Huawei saw the highest growth in the quarter with 57.8 percent.

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Image: Gartner

In terms of server shipments, Dell EMC maintained the number one position it has held since the fourth quarter of 2016 with a 17.5 percent market share -- HPE is just narrowly behind with 17.1 percent of the market. Companies seeing the biggest growth in shipments were Inspur Electronics (31.5 percent) and Huawei (26.1 percent) although their market shares are significantly lower (5.2 percent and 6.2 percent respectively).

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Image: Gartner

By hardware type, x86 servers increased 2.5 percent in shipments and 6.9 percent in revenue, but RISC/Itanium Unix servers fell globally for the period -- down 21.4 percent in shipments and 24.9 percent in vendor revenue compared with the same quarter last year. And the 'other' CPU category -- primarily mainframes -- showed a decline of 29.5 percent in revenue.

"x86 servers have become the main standardized platform for the vast majority of server workloads/applications. We see that as continuing in the future based on organic growth, edge and cloud requirements," said Hewitt.

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