FREMONT, Calif. IDC released the global server market survey report for the first quarter of 2018. In this quarter, server shipments worldwide reached 2.7 million units, a year-to-year increase of 20.7%, while sales reached US$18.8 billion, a year-to-year increase of 38.6%. The global server market recovery momentum is strong, achieving double-digit growth for three consecutive quarters while sales this quarter reached a historic high for this period.
Strong recovery with fastest growth rate worldwide
The market structure has not changed much. The three manufacturers with the largest shipment are Dell, HPE and Inspur. Influenced by favorable market conditions, shipments of all manufacturers have achieved significant growth. Among them, Inspur shipped 175,000 units in this quarter, an increase of 77.5% from last year, ranked once again the fastest growing company.
The growth of the global server market has been influenced by multiple positive factors, including the advent of a global enterprise infrastructure update cycle, the strong procurement requirements of CSPs, and software-defined features that increase the proportion of servers in the infrastructure, widespread demand for new computing platforms like the Intel Xeon Scalable Processor and deployment of new business systems such as AI.
CSP is still the biggest driving force
Sanjay Medvitz, senior analyst for server and storage at IDC, said that users of hyper-scale data centers in the Internet industry have boosted demand for massive volumes of servers. Tier 1 and Tier 3 CSP companies have seen significant growth in purchases during this quarter. In addition, the GPU server continues to maintain an explosive growth momentum driven by AI, and the procurement needs mainly come from CSPs.
Many manufacturers have achieved success in the CSP field. Taking Inspur as an example, the company relies on the mature JDM (joint design manufacturing) model to establish in-depth cooperation with Tier1 CSPs like BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent), and understand the various needs of customers. In the Internet industry, it has maintained the greatest share for many years in China. In AI server field, Inspur has a 57% share of sales, which exceeds the total share of other manufacturers.
Resuming growth in the enterprise market
The biggest change in the global server market this quarter is not the steady growth of CSP procurement, but the continuous recovery of the enterprise market. In the past few years, due to factors like the global economic downturn, the market had continued to slump. In 2018, events like the arrival of the Intel Xeon Scalable Processer Family, infrastructure replacement, and the digital transformation of companies have led to the rise of market demands.
Peter Peng, vice president of Inspur Group, stated that with the development of smart computing, the needs of enterprise users lie not just in the replacement of infrastructure, but in the use of unified and open cloud computing solutions to replace traditional architecture. Meanwhile, they need to prepare for the construction of big data, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things.
A new generation of Inspur M5 servers designed for big data, AI and other smart computing applications has been applied in a wide range of industries. A series of cloud infrastructure solutions based on the Intel Xeon Scalable Processer Family platform such as SR, InCloudRack and i48 are also applied in telecommunication, government, education, and other sectors.
China server market shows fastest growth worldwide
In terms of regional distribution, the Asia Pacific region (excluding Japan) is the fastest growing regional market in this quarter, with a 51.7% sales growth from last year; in Latin America and the United States, sales grew by 41.1% and 40.6% respectively; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Canada showed growth of 35% and 28.3% respectively; and in Japan, 2.9%.
The year-to-year growth of sales in the Chinese market reached 67.4%, making it the main driving force for growth in the overall global market. Benefiting from this, Inspur and other companies enjoyed the highest quarterly growth in the world.
Peter Peng said that at present, the world is undergoing a transition from a traditional information society to an intelligent one. Inspur hopes to seize the development opportunities brought about by smart computing to realize the globalization of its business. Inspur’s business covers 113 countries and regions, 8 global R&D centers, 6 global production centers, and 2 global service centers. Inspur’s business has grown rapidly in the United States, Europe, Korea, and Japan.