Tag: servers

Notebook ODMs fleeing to the cloud

cloudbustThere could be a drastic cut back in the number of notebooks on the market.

Word in from the Far East is that  notebook ODMs, such as Quanta and Compal, have been expanding staff specifically for servers used in cloud computing data centres, their component suppliers, including thermal modules, power supplies and metal stamping, have also extended related production.

It seems likely that the manufacturers have had a gutsful of making PCs that no one wants and are seeing the future as being cloudy.

Intel’s datacentre business units had 10% growth in second-quarter revenues, while profits from the business also surpassed those of its PC business, making the datacentre centre business the CPU giant’s new main profit contributor. The trend also triggered upstream supply chains to start turning their focuses to the segment.

Choung Technology said that more than 40 per cent  of its revenues contributed by server-related products. CCI ships about eight million thermal modules for servers each year, and is supplying to clients including HP, Dell, and Quanta.

Furukawa Electric also stuck its foot in the door supplying Google and Microsoft to supply products for their datacentres. The company also started sending samples to Facebook and Amazon recently, looking to expand into their supply chains.

Quanta’s server team has about 1,000 employees and is focusing mainly on the integration between software and hardware. By the end of 2015, Quanta is looking to double the team’s personnel and will continue to recruit more talent in 2016.

Notebook makers get into servers

server-racksFed up with losing money in a shrinking PC market, notebook OEMs are getting into servers and datacentre hardware.

According to DigitimesQuanta and Compal have been hiring staff specifically to create hardware for servers used in cloud computing data centres and their component suppliers. Apparently thermal modules, power supplies and metal stamping, have also extended related production makes a mile of cash.

The role model for the move is Intel, which saw its datacentre business units grow by 10 percent while profits from the business also surpassed its PC business.

The trend also triggered upstream supply chains to start turning their focuses to the segment.

Taiwan-based thermal module maker Chaun-Choung has 40 percent of its revenues contributed by server-related products. CCI ships about eight million thermal modules for servers each year, and is supplying to clients including HP, Dell, and Quanta.

Japan-based thermal module maker Furukawa also recently entered the supply chain of Google and Microsoft to supply products for their datacenters. The company also started sending samples to Facebook and Amazon recently, looking to expand into their supply chains.

Quanta’s server team has 1,000 employees and is focusing mainly on the integration between software and hardware and wants to double the team’s personnel by Christmas. Compal’s server team has recruited about 300 employees in two years and is still expanding.

Apple buys into white box servers

novità-apple-2013Cupertino based Apple Inc has decided to ditch HP and Dell to supply its servers and instead is looking to Taiwanese firms to supply its data centre needs.

That’s according to Taiwan wire Digitimes which said some of the local white box server manufacturers have already received orders from Apple for boxes.

One of the major manufacturers of servers is Quanta, which used to specialise almost wholly in making notebooks for big vendors but has diversified its business over the last two years.

It offers servers at a price that undercuts Dell and HP and will customise the machines for customers which already include giants like Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Amazon.

Apple said recently it will open data centres in Ireland and in Denmark and it’s also spending billions on building up data centres in the USA.

The company is also cuddling up to IBM and wants to release tablet machines that will appeal to enterprises rather than the home users it has depended on in the past.

AMD leans on ARM for next phase


arm-wrestlingAMD is pinning
its hopes on ARM servers and custom designs to pull its nadgers out of the fire, sources inside the company are saying.

New CEO Lisa Su has said ARM servers will account for as much as 15 percent of the total server market in less than five years and AMD wants a slice of that.

It is a long term gamble, and one which is a move away from AMD’s traditional x86 plans.

What is also strange about the plan is that it does create rivals from companies that are also bidding to put ARM in the data centre.

There is also the problem that ARM adoption in the server space is new and lacks the software and driver maturity of x86 – something which AMD actually knows rather a lot about.

To keep the flag flying. AMD plans to increase its custom semi-design business. AMD has recently signed a number of new customers up to its “semicustom” practice, which it expects to grow into a business worth as much as $1 billion in much-needed new revenues.

Server market grew in Q4 2014

HP-MicroServerFigures supplied by market analyst company Gartner showed that the worldwide server market grew 4.8 percent in shipments for the fourth quarter of 2014.

And revenues grew 2.2 percent in that quarter, compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.

Jeffrey Hewitt a VP at Gartner, described server market for the whole of 2014 as showing strong growth. Growth for the whole year was 2.2 percent.

“Hyper scale data centre deployments as well as service provider installations drove the X86 market upwards,” he said. “Enterprises had less unit growth impact because of the ongoing presence of physical server consolidation through X86 server virtualisation. This overall market growth developed despite declines in both mainframe and Unix platforms.”

HP was the leader server vendor in the quarter in terms of revenues, but only grew 1.5 percent in the whole year. Its market share is 27.9 percent worldwide. IBM showed a decline of 50.6 percent, and Lenovo had extraordinary growth of 743.4 percent. This is because IBM sold its X86 server business to Lenovo in the fourth quarter.

Dell is the second biggest vendor with 17.3 percent in terms of revenues, IBM third, Lenovo fourth and Cisco fifth. “Others” had a market share of 28.6 percent.
HP also led the pack in terms of shipments, pushing out 642,007 units in the fourth quarter.

Server 2003 nemesis looms

Microsoft campusMicrosoft abandons support for Windows Server 2003 on July the 14 this year and that means servergeddon for IT managers who don’t keep up with the upgrades.

In fact, according tech company Insight UK, there are five “power struggles” set to happen in enterprises and public organisations on Bastille Day – that’s the 14th of July.

Insight estimates that 24 million servers worldwide could well be affected – and nearly 40 percent of Server OSes are Windows 2003.

Microsoft wants people to use its Azure Data Centre Migration but many have left things too little and too late.

Insight thinks that migrating servers could take an estimated 18 months, and short term patches cause problems in the migration.

And another problem is lack of compatability and interoperability problems, while new environments will require time to get to grips sure.

Sure enough, this is leading Insight to one conclusion – it can help you out. “Panic is not an option,” said MD Emma de Sousa, after telling enterprises that they better had panic, and quickly.

 

Intel plans Xeon E7-v3 CPUs with up to 18 Cores

Intel-Core-MIt seems that Intel is planning a version of its Xeon E7-v3 CPU with up to 18 Cores under the bonnet.

 CPU-World.com has dug up a list of specifications for some of the upcoming Xeon E7 series processors from Intel.

The information has not been confirmed by Intel but since the list comes from a CSV (Comma Separated Value) price list for the X-series server products from IBM it is likely to be reliable.

The CPUs based on Haswell are baked using the 22nm process. It seems to be 165 W TDP which is hardly a low power envelope but given that it is running a chip with 18 physical cores at 2.5 GHz it is pretty good.

The list is

Model                                   Cores    Frequency          TDP

Xeon E7-4809 v3               8              2.0 GHz                 115W

Xeon E7-4820 v3               10           1.9 GHz                 115W

Xeon E7-4830 v3               12           2.1 GHz                 115W

Xeon E7-4850 v3               14           2.2 GHz                 115W

Xeon E7-8860 v3               16           2.2 GHz                 140W

Xeon E7-8867 v3               16           2.5 GHz                 165W

Xeon E7-8870 v3               18           2.1 GHz                 140W

Xeon E7-8880 v3               18           2.3 GHz                 140W

Xeon E7-8880L v3             18           2.0 GHz                 115W

Xeon E7-8890 v3               18           2.5 GHz                 165W

Xeon E7-8891 v3               10           2.8 GHz                 165W

Xeon E7-8893 v3               4              3.2 GHz                 140W

 

Core counts range from four through 18 cores, and clock speeds  from 1.9 GHz through 3.2 GHz. More cores operate at lower clock speeds.

No word on price yet but these processors are likely to be very expensive so they are only going to go into server situations where they are going to get shedloads of use.

Dell, HP fight back on server prices

server-racksA price war has developed on the server front after multinationals faced competition from original design manufacturers (ODMs) that make the machines.
Over the last year or so, companies such as Quanta Computer have undercut Dell and HP and won big orders from the likes of Google and Amazon.
Digitimes reports that HP is fighting back by striking a deal with giant Taiwanese combo Foxconn to offer cut price X86 servers to customers.
Meanwhile, Dell has struck a deal with Microsoft to offer cloud based systems in a bid to sell private cloud data centres.
But while the news might be good for enterprises looking to pay less for their X86 servers, it can’t be good news for margins.
And Intel, which supplies the majority of microprocessors that power servers, must be worrying about an effect it may have on its margins.

 

Integrated infrastructure booms in EMEA

server-racksA report said that integrated infrastructure and platforms – that is to say vendor systems containing servers, disk storage, networking kit and systems management software – grew by 38 percent in the third quarter of last year.
IDC said vendors turned in revenues of $616 million in the quarter, a year on year growth of 38.2 percent for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) in the quarter.
Eckhardt Fisher, research analyst at IDC, said the growth is linked to fast spreading adoption of business intelligence systems and the perceived benefit to enterprises that brings.
The market leader for the integrated infrastructure division saw VCE as the leader, followed by Cisco-Netapp, and then HP.
Cisco grew its share by close to 163 percent for the quarter, compared to the same quarter in 2013.
VCE also took prime position in the integrated platforms sector, followed by Cisco-Netapp and HP.  But here HP belonged strongly – growing by 271 percent in the quarter.
The entire market for the third quarter shipped 238 terabytes – up 63.5 percent compared to Q3 2013.

 

Server makers cut out the middlemen

server-racksManufacturers of X86 based servers are taking market share from intermediary companies such as Dell and HP.
And, according to Taiwanese wire Digitimes, that trend is sure to increase.
It reports that Taiwanese manufacturers Quanta and Wiwynn will sell more servers to big users during 2015.
The main motivation for the move away from companies like HP is that the boxes are cheaper to source from manufacturers than through middlemen.
And as the trend to data centres continues to grow, companies including Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Google will seek to cut costs and establish cloud data centres by directly sourcing product.
Digitimes claims that Quanta’s direct business for servers now represents 90 percent of its business, while only 10 percent are shipped to third parties.

Integrated systems market spurts ahead

HP-MicroServerCompared with the rest of the IT market, the worldwide integrated infrastructure market grew by a healthy 28.1 percent during the third quarter of this year.

That’s according to IDC, which said reveues increased to $2.3 billion, generating over 898 petabytes of storage capacity shipments, up by 46.6 percent compared to Q3 2013.

IDC research director Jed Scaramella said that over the past year IT vendors invested heavily in product portfolio and that’s resulted in more adopting in customers’ IT.

IDC defines integrated platforms as those sold with pre-integrated packaged software and customised system engineering for software development, databases, testing and integration tools.  Integrated infrastructure are for general purpose workloads.

In the first category, Oracle was the leader in the pack, followed by IBM, and HP.  Oracle showed revenue growth of 7.1 percent, IBM’s revenue growth fell by 18 percent, while HP showed a massive revenue growth of 285 percent.

In the second category, VCE saw a 45.7 percent growth in the quarter, Cico/Netapp showed a 32.2 percent growth while HP surprised with a 273.3 percent revenue growth in the third quarter of 2014.

Rackspace joins anti-Intel server group

IBM logoServer company Rackspace has joined an IBM inspired server group, snubbing its primary chip supplier, Intel.

The Openpower foundation was formed a year ago and has something like 80 worldwide members, working on producing server technology built using IBM rather than Intel microprocessor architecture.

The group already has members including Nvidia, Tyan and Google.

Rackspace has been working behind the scenes with the group for over 18 months, but openly declared its hand yesterday.  Senior director Aaron Sullivan said that Openpower has an open firmware stack, and better access to chips, memory and storage than, for example, Intel.

Other additions to the powerful consortium include Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Mumbai Indian Institute of Technology, and worldwide distributor Avnet.

Openpower said its first summit will be held mid March at the San Jose Convention Center in California.

Servers show mixed results

server-racksYesterday we reported that server revenues in Europe the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) only showed minor growth.

Those were figures from Gartner. But data from its deadly rival IDC indicate that things were less gloomy for server vendors in the third quarter of this year.

IDC said vendor revenues worldwide rose by 4.8 percent, year on year, to represent revenues of $12.7 billion.

This, said IDC, is the second quarter in a row that the server market has shown a year on year increase in revenue terms.

And shipments in the quarter improved 5.7 percent year on year, representing 2.38 million units.  This is largely down to increased spending on hyperscale datacentres.  IDC believes it is seeing signs of companies refreshing their servers, which is good news for 2015 too.

There is a difference depending on the type of server. Volume systems showed 8.8 percent revenue growth, midrange systems showed an 18.4 percent growth year on year. But high end enterprise systems plummeted by –23.2 percent, year on year.

IDC figures show HP is n number one place, followed by IBM, Dell, Cisco and Oracle.  The “ODM Direct” category is interesting because these are largely Taiwanese companies producing unbranded boxes for multinationals – with prices to match. This chart shows the changes.

idc_servers

Like Gartner, IDC saw a recline in non X86 servers – the thirteenth consecutive quarter of revenue decline.  IBM is in pole position here, with a share of 60.8 percent share.  Blade servers accounted for 18 percent of total server revenues in the quarter.

Server revenues grow as shipments fall

server-racksShipments of servers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) fell by four percent in the third quarter of 2014 but revenues rose by 1.2 percent year on year to amount to $2.9 million.

Gartner said that growth seen in the second quarter of this year was “a short lived phenomenon and marginal revenue growth…highlights the fragility of demand”.

But despite this, revenues grew for the third consecutive quarter following 10 previous quarters where revenues declined.

HP managed to grow its revenue lead in the regions with 6.4 percent growth, although shipments declined by 8.2 percent.  The growth was largely accounted for by demand for rack optimised and blade system.

Dell managed to displace IBM as second in place in terms of both revenues and shipments.  It managed to grow nine percent in revenues and 3.4 percent in shipments.  IBM, of course, is ridding itself of its X86 business to Lenovo, while its RISC shipments were hit by a fall in demand for Unix systems.  Its lucrative mainframe business is in stasis as Big Blue readies new launches.

Gartner thinks one of the problems is that IT departments in enterprises are struggling because there are datacentre modernisation initiatives which means they are taking their eyes off the ball in the traditional server marketplace.

If RISC, the Intel Itanium and Unix revenues are counted as one, they fell in the quarter by 13.2 percent.

Google cuts out the server middlemen

HP-MicroServerA report said that Taiwanese original design manufacturer (ODM) Quanta will supply search engine giant Google with its servers in 2015.

Google has long abandoned the habit of using “brand name” servers from the likes of Dell, HP or IBM/Lenovo.

The news, reported in Digitimes, confirms a recent survey saying that the ODMs, which often build machines that are then subsequently branded, are taking market share from the brand names.

It’s not just Google that is following this path.  Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft also buy their servers direct.  Quanta has benefited more from these changes in buying patterns because it has been quicker to realise the money involved than rivals such as Taiwanese company Inventec.

Until comparatively recently, Quanta’s entire business was building notebook machines, subsequently branded by others.  But the bottom has somewhat fallen out of the notebook business with the rise of tablets and smartphones.