Published: January 13th, 2017

International Data Corporation (IDC) has put out its latest growth numbers on cloud and despite the hype that surrounds this market the worldwide cloud IT infrastructure growth, based on vendor revenue, is in the single digits. IDC tracked sales of infrastructure products (server, storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud IT, including public and private cloud, and it found the growth at just over eight per cent over year to $8.4 billion in the third quarter of 2016.

Ethernet switch continues to be the growth leader, as the market awaits new hyperscale data centre builds to spur additional growth. The overall share of cloud IT infrastructure sales climbed to 39.2 per cent of all IT infrastructure spending in 3Q16, up from 34.7 per cent a year ago. Revenue from infrastructure sales to private cloud grew by 8.2 per cent to $3.3 billion, and to public cloud by 8.0 per cent to $5.1 billion.

In comparison, revenue in the traditional (non-cloud) IT infrastructure segment decreased 10.8 per cent year over year in the third quarter. Private cloud infrastructure growth was led by Ethernet switch at 60.8 per cent year-over-year growth, followed by storage at 9.0 per cent, and server at 3.2 per cent. Public cloud growth was also led by Ethernet switch at 46.2 per cent year-over-year growth, followed by server at 6.8 per cent storage at 3.0 per cent year over year.

In traditional IT deployments, server declined the most (12.9 per cent year over year) with Ethernet switch and storage declining 1.6 per cent and 8.6 per cent, respectively.

Kuba Stolarski, research director for Computing Platforms at IDC, said new cloud data centres have begun to launch, but in the third quarter the effect on the cloud IT infrastructure market was minimal. However, Stolarski added that as network upgrades continue to prop up cloud growth overall, the hyperscale cloud data centres are coming and they will drive new server and storage deployments over the next few quarters.

Recently, Stolarski has found there has been renewed strength in emerging markets and among smaller cloud service providers. As OpenStack has become easier to implement and maintain by a growing population of capable system administrators, private cloud options are becoming more viable in an increasing set of use cases and with a wider set of deployment parameters.

From a regional perspective, vendor revenue from cloud IT infrastructure sales grew fastest in of all places the Middle East & Africa at a whopping 36.7 per cent year over year in the third quarter followed by Japan at a smidge under 30 per cent. Canada came in at 5.3 per cent, which was better than the U.S. which is at 2.9 per cent.

IDC also listed its top five vendors in Cloud IT Infrastructure. They are:

  1. Dell Technologies at $1.3 Billion
  2. HPE at $1.25 billion
  3. Cisco at $1.02 billion

There is a four way tie for 4th place.

  1. Lenovo at $297 million
  2. Huawei at $274 million
  3. NetApp at $234 million
  4. Inspur at $218 million

According to IDC, Dell and HPE ranked on top was a statistical tie; Lenovo, Huawei, NetApp, and Inspur all ranked number 4, again in a statistical tie. IDC declares a statistical tie in the worldwide cloud IT infrastructure market when there is less than one per cent difference in the revenue share of two or more vendors.

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