Beancounters at Canalys have added up some numbers and divided them by the flight ration of a swallow carrying a coconut and reached the conclusion that channel firms dominated 2017 infrastructure sments worldwide and boosted the market to a record year.
The analyst outfit said that the market was worth $142 billion this year which is a seven percent increase on 2016. Servers grew 12.2 percent to $66 billion; networking grew 4.3 percent to $50 billion and storage 1.6 percent to $26 billion. .
Canalys principal analyst Matthew Ball said the channel continued to dominate infrastructure shipments, collectively representing 74 percent of the worldwide total.
Server growth was partially due to hyperscale cloud service providers’ “ongoing” datacentre expansion, Canalys’ announcement said. It noted: “The start of a new enterprise refresh cycle following the launch of the next generation of Intel and AMD processors increased server shipment value.”
The growth of Chinese and Taiwanese ODM server vendors selling large volumes to cloud service providers meant that direct sales grew faster than channel sales in the overall infrastructure market. Ball said that 34 percent of server shipments were direct sales (compared to 19 percent of storage and 20 percent of networking shipments).
“The massive CapEx planned by the data centre cloud service providers in upgrading and expanding existing data centres, as well as increasing their geographic presence, will maintain this trend in 2018”, Ball said.
Storage, meanwhile, saw a return to growth following “a period of disruption” from all-flash and software-defined, which Canalys says offset traditional HDD storage arrays’ drop.
Canalys highlighted the strength of datacenter switching and 11ac Wave 2 wireless LANs (WLANs) for campus and branch environments. It says ethernet switching grew seven percent and WLANs nine percent. Service provider routing stayed positive at one percent, while enterprise routing fell nine percent.
Cisco, Dell EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) represented 50 percent of infrastructure shipments Cisco maintained a 20 percent lead thanks to its networking strength. Dell EMC grew its infrastructure shipments market share to 15 percent and “was one of the fastest-growing vendors through the channel”, Ball said. HPE controlled 14 percent market share.
Shipments 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.
A survey has suggested that tablet sales are declining in the face of increased notebook sales.
DisplaySearch, bought by HIS recently, said in the third quarter of this year, notebooks rose by 10 percent compared to 2013 to account for 49.4 million units shipped. The figures contradict other estimates which suggest that sales are weak or flattish.
But tablet PCs, in the same quarter, fell by eight percent.
DisplaySearch said the slump in demand for tablet PCs helped the growth of notebook sales.
In particular, growth of notebooks was helped by low priced Windows based notebooks PCs and by Chromebooks.
The leaders worldwide for notebooks are Lenovo (20%), HP (19%), Dell (12%), Acer (10%) and Apple (9%).
These five companies between them hold 69 percent of total notebooks shipped worldwide. Apple sales of the iPad declined in the third quarter by 13 percent.
While Intel turned in remarkably buoyant financial results last week, the news remains somewhat gloomy on the PC front.
Figures released by IDC showed that shipments to consumers in the potentially lucrative Asia Pacific region in the third quarter of this year fell by five percent compared to the same quarter last year.
Sales were up compared to the previous quarter by eight percent and totalled 26.6 million units.
China and India showed better than expected shipments in the quarter.
Handoko Andi, research manager for client devices at IDC said: “[Windows] XP migration helped boost commercial PC spending earlier this year. But in recent quarters, we have seen Microsoft add a lot to the entry level segment by launching the Windows 8.1 with Bing programme.”
Lenovo is numero uno iin the region, followed by Dell, HP, Acer and Asus. HP showed a decline of 16.1 percent in shipments in the region compared to the same quarter last year, while Acer showed an 11.2 percent decline.
Europe has seen a bleak view of the PC market with shipments falling by 20 percent year on year.
That’s the latest from Context, which said that the first quarter of 2013 saw the drop with the steepest decrease occurring in Central and Eastern Europe.
The research company said these areas were most hit as a result of continued inventory weaknesses in Russia, which contributed to a decline of 23 percent for the region over the first quarter of this year compared to last year.
Russia itself saw PC shipments drop by 29.1 percent followed by Poland with a drop of 19.1 percent.
Over in Western Europe the picture wasn’t any brighter with figures showing a decline of 22 percent and almost every country registering double-digit falls including Spain at one end with a fall of 35.2 percent and the UK at the other with a drop of 16.6 percent.
The Middle East and Africa however, had a better quarter, with a lesser decrease of 11 percent recorded including Turkey where shipments fell by only two percent.
However, the future remains bleak with the company projecting a similar trend for Q213 with inventory continuing to be an issue in certain countries.
It said vendors were expected to act cautiously with their sell-in levels to avoid excess stock accumulations especially prior to the third quarter back to school period.