IDC recently released its Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker for the fourth quarter and whole year of 2018. According to the report, worldwide X86 server shipments reached 2.965 million units in the fourth quarter, totaling $21.1 billion in revenue. This represented year-over-year increases of 4.7% and 18.7%, respectively. The overall server market continues to experience robust demand with 4Q18 marking the fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth.
In 2018, worldwide X86 server shipments totaled 11.751 million units, with $81.09 billion revenue, achieving year-over-year growth rates of 15.4% and 34.5%, respectively. It’s the highest total revenue in a single quarter ever.
DELL EMC and HPE remained the top two companies in terms of global shipments in 2018, while Inspur ranked third with 908,000 units. Inspur became the fastest growing manufacturer in the world during the past year, with a shipment growth rate 54%, resulting in an increase of nearly 2% in total market share. Inspur has maintained the fastest growth rate in the world over the past few quarters. Its JDM model has helped the company secure orders from CSPs, while its intelligent computing ecosystem has enabled the company to capture the growth opportunities from the recovery of the enterprise market.
Since 2017, the worldwide server market has been demonstrating a very clear recovery trend. Reduced demand from hyperscale companies created downward pressure on worldwide server market growth rates during the quarter, while this was offset by increased server sales to enterprise customers. Facing the challenges of digital transformation, traditional enterprise users need to accelerate the adoption of innovative IT technologies and set up business models and corporate competitiveness based on new technologies. Their recovery demands are more concentrated on emerging business loads such as cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence.
Moreover, Enterprises are buying richly configured servers to support resource intensive workloads, resulting in higher ASPs and pushing revenue growth higher than growth from unit shipments. Which leads to sales growth that significantly outpaces shipment growth in this market.
In terms of product forms, annual shipments of blade servers, main frame, rack-mount servers, tower servers and multi-node servers have increased by -12.4%, 20.0%, 10.1%, -6.6% and 79.7%, respectively. Multi-node servers remain the key growth driving the server market, with their market share increasing from 12.8% to 20.0%. Not only do cloud service providers prefer multi-node servers, but traditional enterprise users such as telecom operators have also begun to purchase these types of servers.
Among multi-node and rack-mount servers, the proportion of customized products is increasing, leading to a year-over-year increase of 104.2% in Inspur’s shipments of multi-node servers. It is reported that 6 of the top 10 Internet companies (by market capitalization) worldwide have chosen Inspur servers. Inspur is conducting business in 117 countries and regions with eight global R&D centers, six global production centers, and two global service centers.