IDC: Global cloud infrastructure market hit £20bn in 2015 – with HPE at the top

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The global cloud infrastructure market has grown 22% year on year to hit a $29 billion (£20.4bn) value in 2015 with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) at the top of the tree, according to the latest research note from IDC.

The findings, which appear in the analyst house’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker report, sees HPE atop the list of infrastructure vendors, with fourth quarter revenues of $1.3bn (£915m) representing a 15.8% overall market share. Dell (10.2%), Cisco (9.7%) – jointly given the silver medal by IDC because of how close their propositions are – EMC (9.2%) and IBM (4.3%) comprise the top five.

All leading firms saw their revenues increase year over year, and all apart from IBM saw that growth in double digits. Cisco (35.5% revenue growth) saw greatest expansion, ahead of Dell (26.7%), EMC (19.7%) and HPE (17.2%). Quarterly revenues for 4Q15 were at $8.2bn, up 15% from 4Q14’s $7.1bn.

In terms of specific regions, cloud infrastructure vendors saw greatest success in Japan, with sales rising 50% year over year in 4Q15. Asia Pacific – excluding Japan – was similarly popular (38.7%), followed by Western Europe (30.5%), Canada (23.5%) and the United States, with its mature and saturated market, trailing although showing 6.6% revenue growth.

“The cloud IT infrastructure market continues to see strong double digit growth with faster gains coming from public cloud infrastructure demand,” said Kuba Stolarski, IDC research director for computing platforms, adding: “While the ice was broken a long time ago for public cloud services, the continued evolution of the enterprise IT customer means that public cloud acceptance and adoption will continue on a steady pace into the next decade.”

Critical assessment of the changes in the market has been cautiously positive. HP’s decision, first announced in 2014 and finalised a year later, to split its business into two, one for enterprise and one for printing and personal, means HPE’s shares have of late gained “solid momentum”, according to financial research house Zacks.

Regarding the acquisition of EMC by Dell for an eye-watering $67bn in October, including VCE and VMware among others, many were happy to stick the boot in, with one writer describing such companies as “the walking dead”. Dell has shuffled the pack for its hyperconverged infrastructure products, but it is the combination of Dell and EMC’s market share (19.9%) which could be a game changer. The IDC forecast correlates similarly with Synergy Research figures on the cloud infrastructure equipment market; back in September the analyst firm announced HP had finally overtaken Cisco due to its investment in the server and storage space.

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