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Worldwide server shipments grew 14.0% year over year to just over 3.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2019 (4Q19), according to market researcher IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker. Vendor revenue in the worldwide server market grew 7.5% year over year to $25.4 billion during 4Q19.

In terms of server class, volume server revenue was up 12.1% to $19.7 billion, while midrange server revenue declined 14.1% to $3.3 billion and high-end systems grew by 8.9% to $2.4 billion.

“While the server market recaptured growth during the fourth quarter, it was a bit of a mixed bag as robust hyperscaler demand benefited the ODM Direct vendor group, which combined with strong non-x86 server purchases to drive the broader market,” said Sebastian Lagana, research manager, Infrastructure Platforms and Technologies, IDC. “While the OEM x86 market was tepid, it’s worth noting that 4Q18 was one of the most challenging comparison periods in history, during which many OEMs generated double-digit growth and large revenue bases.”

Servers HPE, Dell, IBM, Inspur

Sebastian Lagana
“While the server market recaptured growth during the fourth quarter, it was a bit of a mixed bag as robust hyperscaler demand benefited the ODM Direct vendor group, which combined with strong non-x86 server purchases to drive the broader market,” said Sebastian Lagana, research manager, Infrastructure Platforms and Technologies, IDC.

The number one position in the worldwide server market in 4Q19 was shared by the combined HPE/New H3C Group and Dell Technologies with revenue shares of 16.3% and 15.7% respectively. HPE/New H3C Group revenues were down 3.4% year over year while Dell Technologies declined 9.9%. The third ranking server supplier during the quarter was IBM, generating 9.1% revenue share on growth of 17.6%. Inspur/Inspur Power Systems was fourth with 6.8% revenue share and year-over-year growth of 12.1%.

Lenovo and Huawei were statistically tied for the fifth position in the market with market shares of 5.6% and 5.1% respectively. Lenovo’s revenues were down 2.6% year over year while Huawei grew its revenues 1.8% in 4Q19. The ODM Direct group of vendors accounted for 25.5% of total revenue and was up 37.9% year over year to $6.47 billion. Dell Technologies led the worldwide server market in terms of unit shipments, accounting for 16.1% of all units shipped during the quarter.

USA, Canada, Latin America

On a geographic basis, Canada, Latin America, and the USA all saw double-digit year-over-year growth in 4Q19, up 19.3%, 19.0%, and 15.5% respectively. Japan (5.2%) and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) (APeJ) (4.2%) also saw year-over-year growth, albeit at a slower pace than the Americas. China saw its 4Q19 vendor revenues grow at a faster pace than APeJ in aggregate, up 6.7% year over year. Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) declined 5.2% year over year.

Revenue generated from x86 servers increased 6.3% in 4Q19 to $22.4 billion. Non-x86 servers grew 17.7% year over year to just under $3.0 billion.

Quarterly Server Tracker

IDC’s Quarterly Server Tracker is a quantitative tool for analyzing the global server market on a quarterly basis. The Tracker includes quarterly unit shipments and revenues (both vendor revenue and value of shipments), segmented by vendor, family, model, region, operating system, price band, CPU type, and architecture. IDC’s Server Taxonomy maps the eleven price bands within the server market into three price ranges: volume servers, midrange servers and high-end servers.

Vendor revenue represents those dollars recognized by multi-user system and server vendors for ISS (initial server shipment) and upgrade units sold through direct and indirect channels and includes the following embedded server components: Frame or cabinet and all cables, processors, memory, communications boards, operating system software, other bundled software and initial internal and external disk shipments.