Cloud service providers with demand for ultra-dense datacenters are transforming the market and shaping future enterprise IT choices.
Companies such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook have formed a market for these ultra-dense hyperscale datacenters, according to a study Gartner released last week. Today, about 11 percent of the international server market, which was worth $5.28 billion in 2011, goes to companies with hyperscale datacenters, the analyst firm said. By 2015, 17 percent of servers will be purchased for this kind of datacenter.
This trend will bring more competition and more products to the market, even though the buyers are mostly cloud providers. "The hyperscale data center market is a big one, but limited, with only a few dozen -- albeit, large -- potential customers," Kiyomi Yamada, a principal research analyst at Gartner and a co-author of the report, said in a press release. "This strong, concentrated buying power inevitably means intense competition and lower margins, as well as fluctuating demand."
What does this mean for enterprise buyers? More server competition means more servers, which will reduce entry barriers for cloud service providers. More providers will mean increased reliance on clouds by organizations worldwide.
Datacenters with massive resource requirements are also a factor in second-quarter figures from IDC. The research firm said server revenue actually dropped 4.8 percent from a year earlier to $12.6 billion. But blade-based servers with optimized architectures -- the kind used by cloud providers -- are selling robustly. Jed Scaramella, research manager for enterprise servers at IDC, said in a press release:
IDC is observing a increasing trend towards form factor specialization in the market, as both blade and density optimized servers continue to outperform the general market. Together, blade and density optimized servers grew 15% in annual revenue and now represent 22% of the market. These modular form factors are expected to continue to gain adoption, with blades targeting virtualized environments in enterprises and density optimized servers targeting large-scale homogeneous environments in datacenters.
Virtualization, modularization, and density are all characteristics of cloud datacenters -- and of the facilities their customers must maintain. Their future looks hyperscale for sure.
— Mary Jander , Executive Editor, Internet Evolution