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Dell EMC joins Cisco and HPE in cloud infrastructure battle

20 March 2017 | Jason Mcgee-Abe

Against the backdrop of surging cloud usage, the recently formed Dell EMC has joined HPE and Cisco in a long-standing market leadership battle for cloud infrastructure equipment, according to new Q4 data from Synergy Research Group.

CIE Q4 2016

Total cloud infrastructure equipment revenues, including public and private cloud, hardware and software, passed the $70 billion milestone in 2016 with Q4 revenue accounting for over 27% of the total.

“Putting to one side the chunk of the market that is now sidelined and controlled by ODMs, the rest of the market is being heavily contested by the three leading IT hardware vendors,” said John Dinsdale, a chief analyst and research director at Synergy Research Group.

“While spend on cloud services and infrastructure is already huge it is still relatively early days in the transition of enterprise workloads to the cloud. That means that success in the cloud infrastructure market is vitally important to IT vendors and they will be fighting long and hard to maximise their market shares.”

The research report, which looks into both hardware and software, states that HPE and Cisco have been in a closely contested fight for worldwide market share for many years, but in Q4 they were joined by the recently merged Dell EMC. According to the data collated, and as depicted in the graph, all three companies had respective 11.5% market shares. Despite the similar market shares, they lead in different product segments – HPE in cloud servers, Dell EMC in storage and Cisco in networking.

As a result of ongoing heavy investment in own-designed hardware by hyperscale cloud providers, original design manufacturers (ODMs) in aggregate had a similar share of the market.

While growth in private cloud has slowed down, spend on public cloud continues to grow at a strong double-digit pace. Servers, OS, storage, networking and virtualisation software combined accounted for 95% of the Q4 cloud infrastructure market, with the balance comprising cloud security and cloud management.

Microsoft, which features heavily in the ranking due to its position in server OS and virtualisation applications, and IBM, which maintains a strong position across a range of cloud technology markets, round out the group of top cloud infrastructure vendors.

Across the different types of cloud deployment, Cisco continues to hold a commanding lead in public cloud infrastructure while Dell EMC gained a narrow lead over HPE in private cloud.

Topics: Synergy Research, Dell EMC, Cisco, HPE, cloud, infrastructure, private cloud, servers, storage