back to article AMD, Arm, non-Intel servers soar as overall market stalls

The world’s server market stalled in the year’s third quarter, says analyst firm IDC. Revenue rose 2.2 percent year-on-year to $22.565bn. Shipments shrank to 3,065,791, down 5,453 compared to the same time in 2019. The firm says non-X86 kit was the hot spot, with revenue growth of 10.4 percent to a total of around $1.6bn. …

  1. dgeb

    Smaller servers

    I’m not sure I buy the hypothesis about a connection between small server rooms and small servers - small server rooms obviously have fewer servers, but there is no reason to suppose they are individually cheaper. If anything, I would expect them to come in *higher* on the IDC methodology:

    First, it counts software sold with new servers, so a lot of small customers are going to be adding to it with things like Windows licences, where larger customers would be more likely to have a separate with software vendors, and more likely to have a significant Linux fleet.

    Second, it counts parts sold with the server, so people who add memory/storage/etc separately are under-represented. That’s more likely to happen with mid-size or larger businesses, where the available savings are much larger and the benefits of standardisation greater.

    Third, small environments are much more likely to use DAS, which means higher costs for a single server, and thus more in a higher bracket, rather than shared storage.

    Related to the above, I would also say that small companies are far more likely to have been fully remote (hence in the category of not there to set it up), and to do most setup manually, whereas a bigger outfit would have maintained a minimally-staffed datacentre, and be able to automate (or at least remotely) do almost the entire setup after physically racking kit.

    One thing which might well have skewed the market downwards is that 1S EPYC covers a lot of use cases previously in the 2S bracket, but the total platform cost is lower - and the stated AMD growth would be consistent with this.

  2. Platinum blond(e)

    Sales calls are the thing

    My take is that selling big iron to classic enterprise customers is usually done in person, with plenty of wining and dining to help grease the skids/seal the deal. This might help explain downtrend in that class of machine. Meanwhile, cloud builders are already marching to their own Cadence, and enterprise-class schmoozing has much less effect. Will the gallery please correct me if I'm wrong?

    1. Peter-Waterman1

      Re: Sales calls are the thing

      I think you are correct. I think that once you commit to a cloud provider you unlock 100's of different products, from databases, firewalls, VDI, data warehousing, AI, ML, IOT and on and on. You can test the products in minutes and start to consume. This verses taking a decision to build something yourself where you have to purchase the hardware, get it in, set it up etc is much harder and hence all the salespeople associated with it. Cloud defiantly has an advantage when it comes to ease of use.

  3. rcxb

    Some companies are growing in a big way during this crisis. Most others are struggling. Overall, the economy is way down, so it is no surprise the server market didn't grow.

    My guess is that it just happens that the most agile companies which are able to grow right now despite the well known challenges, also happen to be the most agile about their hardware vendors as well, and willing to switch, increase density, etc. Other companies may be looking to save money, as well.

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