HP, Dell and IBM have been given a bloody nose by the meteoric rise of the whitebox server market, according to analyst Dell'Oro.
The market watcher told CRN it estimates that non-branded servers made by Asian ODMs such as Quanta accounted for a record 10 per cent of server revenues and 15 per cent of server shipments in the final quarter of 2014.
The market has been fuelled by demand for whitebox servers from the so-called big four cloud providers of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, each of which now has an installed base of more than one million servers in their datacentres.
The cloud market accounts for more than a quarter of total server shipments, Dell'Oro said.
Dell'Oro defines whitebox units as servers made by ODM contract manufacturers that go to end users directly, rather than through branded server vendors such as HP. These include not only Quanta but also Inventec, Wistron and Wiwynn.
"We expect whitebox server vendors to continue to gain market share driven by cloud datacentre deployments and some large enterprises which follow the best practices of the leading cloud datacentres," Dell'Oro Group director Sameh Boujelbene told CRN.
Boujelbene added that the top three branded server vendors had adopted different strategies to adjust to the new competitive landscape.
"Dell went private to be able to realign its strategy without having to worry about quarterly results and stock price pressure," she said.
"IBM exited the low-margin server segment and divested its System X server business to Lenovo, and HP formed a partnership with Foxconn, to be able to offer lower prices and more customised servers."
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