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STAMFORD, Conn., March 3, 2015 View All Press Releases

Gartner Says Worldwide Server Market Grew 4.8 Percent in Shipments, While Revenue Increased 2.2 Percent in Fourth Quarter of 2014

In the fourth quarter of 2014, worldwide server shipments increased 4.8 percent year over year, while revenue grew 2.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013, according to Gartner, Inc. In all of 2014, worldwide server shipments grew 2.2 percent, and server revenue increased 0.8 percent. 

"There were several factors that produced the strong growth in the server market in 2014," said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner. "On a worldwide basis, hyperscale data center deployments as well as service provider installations drove the x86-based server market upward. Enterprises had less unit growth impact because of the ongoing presence of physical server consolidation through x86-server virtualization. This overall market growth developed despite declines in both mainframe and Unix platforms." 

In the fourth quarter of 2014, the regions with the highest growth rates in terms of unit shipments were the Middle East and Africa (10.7 percent), Asia/Pacific (9.1 percent) and North America (7.6 percent). 

HP led the worldwide server market based on revenue in the fourth quarter of 2014 (see Table 1), but only grew 1.5 percent year over year. The company ended the year with $3.9 billion in revenue for a total share of 27.9 percent worldwide. IBM experienced a decline of 50.6 percent while Lenovo experienced strong growth of 743.4 percent. The significant changes in IBM's and Lenovo's growth rates are due to the completion of the sale of IBM's x86 server business to Lenovo in the fourth quarter.   

Table 1
Worldwide: Server Vendor Revenue Estimates, 4Q14 (U.S. Dollars)

Company

4Q14

Revenue

4Q14 Market Share (%)

4Q13

Revenue

4Q13 Market Share (%)

4Q14-4Q13 Growth (%)

HP

3,897,668,666

27.9

3,839,527,072

28.1

1.5

Dell

2,425,147,102

17.3

2,074,167,350

15.2

16.9

IBM

1,788,907,117

12.8

3,622,900,853

26.5

-50.6

Lenovo

1,103,620,000

7.9

130,855,009

1.0

743.4

Cisco

772,200,000

5.5

646,100,000

4.7

19.5

Others

3,992,675,197

28.6

3,360,032,355

24.6

18.8

Total

13,980,218,081

100.0

13,673,582,640

100.0

2.2

Note: Lenovo’s Q414 results include IBM x86 sales. IBM’s Q414 results include only non x86 servers.

Source: Gartner (March 2015) 

In server shipments, HP remained the worldwide leader for the fourth quarter of 2014, even as its shipments declined 11.0 percent (see Table 2). HP’s revenue increase compared with its shipment decline suggests a shift to sales of servers with richer configurations and relatively higher average selling prices to continue to support server consolidation through virtualization, in addition to a tough comparison when the company had large hyperscale deals a year ago.  

Table 2
Worldwide: Server Vendor Shipments Estimates, 4Q14 (Units)

Company

4Q14

Shipments

4Q14 Market Share (%)

4Q13

Shipments

4Q13 Market Share (%)

4Q14-4Q13 Growth (%)

HP

642,007

23.7

721,032

27.9

-11.0

Dell

529,411

19.6

504,322

19.5

5.0

Lenovo

242,322

9.0

69,176

2.7

250.3

Huawei

117,911

4.4

91,433

3.5

29.0

Inspur Electronics

91,444

3.4

63,890

2.5

43.1

Others

1,082,985

40.0

1,131,960

43.8

-4.3

Total

2,706,080

100.0

2,591,812

100.0

4.8

Note: Lenovo’s Q414 results include IBM x86 sales. IBM’s Q414 results include only non x86 servers.

Source: Gartner (March 2015) 

x86 server demand increased in shipments by 5.1 percent and revenue by 8.2 percent for the fourth quarter of 2014. 

Full Year 2014 Server Market Results

2014 was a relatively moderate growth year in the server market with overall increases of 2.2 percent in shipments and 0.8 percent in revenue. x86 servers continue to be the predominant platform used for large-scale data center buildouts across the globe, and the growth of integrated systems, while still relatively small as an overall percentage of the hardware infrastructure market, also provided some growth contribution to the x86 server space for the year. The outlook for 2015 suggests that modest growth will continue in the server space on the whole. 

EMEA 4Q14 Results

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), server shipments in the fourth quarter of 2014 declined 0.7 percent, while server revenue grew 1.2 percent, totaling $3.6 billion. In 2014, server shipments declined 2.5 percent and server revenue grew 2.1 percent. 

"Despite considerable market pressures, the fourth-quarter server results in EMEA were unremarkable," said Errol Rasit, research director at Gartner. "The region saw growth prospects related to installed-base refresh, big data projects and cloud computing expansion; however, political and economic instability, combined with U.S. dollar strength, dampened market demand in EMEA." 

In the fourth quarter of 2014, HP extended its revenue share lead in EMEA with 10 percent growth (see Table 3) despite a 1.5 percent decline in server shipments (see Table 4). HP's strong performance in the quarter came from strong demand for modular servers, replacement demand due to the latest ninth-generation platforms, and competitive growth. 

For the second consecutive quarter, Dell held the second spot in EMEA as IBM's divestment of x86 servers to Lenovo reduced IBM's position to third. Dell recorded a 19 percent revenue growth. The growth was attributed to ongoing channel improvements, and strong sales execution. Dell also benefited from 13th-generation platform replacement activity. 

Third-place IBM declined 57 percent as it suffered from a tough quarter compared with a year ago when System X revenue contributed to its total. 

"Without including x86 revenue, IBM's revenue would have declined by 14 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014," said Mr. Rasit. "The weakness in IBM's top-line result is also due to System Z investment slowing in anticipation of the newest-generation mainframe products. After recent weak results, Power Systems' revenue grew marginally by 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 in EMEA. Power Systems represents IBM's growth strategy with key investments in PowerLinux and OpenPOWER."

Table 3                                                                                                                                              

EMEA: Server Vendor Revenue Estimates, 4Q14 (U.S. Dollars)                                               

Company

4Q14

 Revenue

4Q14 Market Share (%)

4Q13

 Revenue

4Q13 Market Share (%)

4Q14-4Q13 Growth (%)

HP

 1,349,742,231

37.50

 1,227,689,485

34.5

9.9

Dell

 582,324,225

16.2

 488,845,100

13.7

19.1

IBM

 393,464,384

10.9

 915,632,505

25.7

-57.0

Lenovo

 352,730,000

9.8

 5,721,051

0.2

6.1

Fujitsu

 232,977,606

6.5

 252,090,555

7.1

-7.6

Others

 688,399,132

19.1

 668,413,359

18.8

3.0

Total

 3,599,637,577

100.0

 3,558,392,054

100.0

1.2

Note: Lenovo’s Q414 results include IBM x86 sales. IBM’s Q414 results include only non x86 servers.

Source: Gartner (March 2015) 

Table 4                                                                                                                                              

EMEA: Server Shipment Estimates, 4Q14 (Units)                                                                                   

Company

4Q14 Shipments

4Q14 Market Share (%)

4Q13 Shipments

4Q13 Market Share (%)

4Q14-4Q13 Growth (%)

HP

 237,712

39.0

 241,385

39.4

-1.5

Dell

 128,329

21.1

 120,376

19.6

6.6

Lenovo

 54,335

8.9

 2,691

0.4

1.9

Fujitsu

 30,544

5.0

 33,362

5.4

-8.5

Cisco

 16,002

2.6

 14,054

2.3

13.9

Others

 141,918

23.3

 201,406

32.8

-29.5

Total

 608,840

100.0

 613,274

100.0

-0.7

Note: Lenovo’s Q414 results include IBM x86 sales. IBM’s Q414 results include only non x86 servers.

Source: Gartner (March 2015) 

"Although revenue growth was in low single digits, and server shipments were constrained, 2014 was a year where the market in EMEA returned to consistent growth," said Mr. Rasit. "We expect 2015 will exhibit a similar pattern of growth, however, the worsening currency effects related to a strong U.S. dollar is likely to drive price increases and restricted spending in EMEA." 

Additional information is available to clients who have access to Gartner's Servers Quarterly Statistics. This database provides worldwide market size and share data by vendor revenue and unit shipments. Segments include: region, vendor, vendor brand, sub brand, CPU type, CPU group, Max CPU, platform, price band, operating systems and distribution channels.

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