If you follow the dynamics of the server market at all, you probably know that the size of the global market has been steadily shrinking in terms of revenue. For five consecutive quarters now, overall revenue from server sales has been slowly sliding down, a few percentage points at a time, according to Gartner.
The analysts attribute this to growing use of cloud services, noting that the large-enterprise and small and medium business segments have not been growing for server vendors, while the hyper-scale data center segment has. Perhaps this is why server shipments have been growing while the amount of revenue vendors are getting from those shipments has been shrinking. Hyper-scale operators buy undifferentiated commodity hardware at high volumes, paying much less per unit than a typical enterprise user would buying off-the-shelf servers.
But a few broader technology trends make some hopeful that the market will return to growth. Ravi Pendekanti, who is currently senior VP for server solutions product management and marketing at Dell EMC, and who previously spent many years in senior product and marketing roles at Sun Microsystems, SGI, Juniper, and Oracle, says the next generation of technologies, such as self-driving cars and the Internet of Things, as well as commoditization of data center network hardware driven by software-defined networking, will drive that next wave of growth in the server market.
Pendekanti joined me for the latest edition of The Data Center Podcast to talk about these and other trends in the market:
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