The white box server market is growing and the IDC numbers from IDC merely serve to reinforce the point, with the revelation that the ODM Direct group of vendors grew revenue by 41.8 percent in the first quarter to $1.2 billion, accounting for 10.4 percent of the market, at a time when overall server revenues declined by 4.6 percent.
Gartner research director Adrian O’Connell found something similar – while there was a global decline of 4.5 percent in server revenues in the same period, revenues in the “others” category rose 4.4 percent. He wrote that leading server vendors are doing all they can to ensure that service providers don’t continue to shift their server purchases toward ODM suppliers.
“Combined with the significant inroads made by China-based suppliers, we expect to see continuing challenges and downward price pressure across the EMEA server market for some time to come,” he said.
HPE struck a deal with Foxconn to sell white box-like servers to cloud and telco providers three years ago. But CEO Meg Whitman recently admitted that server sales had been affected by declining orders from a single customer – probably Microsoft.
Supermicro is one of the key white box venders. In February, it was believed that Chipzilla was the unnamed customer in a deal for more than 30,000 Supermicro servers for a data centre in Silicon Valley.