Worldwide Server Market Revenue Declines 4.6% in the Fourth Quarter
According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, vendor revenue in the worldwide server market declined 4.6% year over year to $14.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 (4Q16). Overall server market growth has recently slowed in part due to a slowdown in hyperscale datacenter growth and continued drag from declining high-end server sales. In addition, the robust enterprise refresh cycle of 2015 has created difficult comparisons in 2016 to the prior year's quarterly results. Worldwide server shipments decreased 3.5% to 2.55 million units in 4Q16 when compared with the same year-ago period.
On a year-over-year basis, volume and midrange system revenue decreased 3.3% and 6.1% in 4Q16 to $11.2 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively. Server demand across enterprise portfolios continued to be soft for the quarter. Meanwhile, 4Q16 demand for high-end systems experienced a year-over-year revenue decline of 10.7% to $2.0 billion. IDC expects continued long-term secular declines in high-end system revenue.
"The server market suffered another difficult quarter as most segments declined, including hyperscale deployments, suggesting that the weakness previously seen is more systemic," said Kuba Stolarski, research director, Computing Platforms at IDC. "Some public cloud datacenter deployments are being delayed and there are indications that overall levels of deployment and refresh may slow down even through the long term as hyperscalers continue to evaluate their hardware provisioning criteria. On the enterprise side, we are seeing ongoing weakness as companies struggle to decide whether to deploy workloads on premises or off, and continue to consolidate existing workloads on fewer servers."
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) retained the number 1 spot in the worldwide server market with 23.6% market share in vendor revenue for 4Q16, as revenue decreased 12.2% year over year to $3.5 billion. HPE's share and year-over-year growth rate includes revenues from the H3C joint venture in China that began in May of 2016; as a result, the reported HPE/New H3C Group combines server revenue for both companies globally.
Dell Technologies maintained its number 2 position in the worldwide server market with 17.6% of vendor revenue for the quarter, while revenue increased 0.1% year over year to $2.6 billion. IBM regained its third spot, controlling 12.3% of the market even while vendor revenue declined 17.1% year over year.
Lenovo and Cisco remained tied in 4Q16 and together dropped to the fourth market position with 6.5%, and 6.3% revenue share, respectively. Lenovo's revenue declined 16.7% to $947 million, while Cisco declined 1.3% to $916 million. For the first time since IDC began tracking the ODM Direct group of vendors in 2013, the revenue attributed to this group has declined year over year by 7.1% to 1.2 billion.
Top 5 Vendor Groups 4Q16 (Revenues are in Millions)
4Q16 Market Share
4Q15 Market Share
4Q16/4Q15 Revenue Growth
1. HPE / New H3C Group
2. Dell Technologies
IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker