In 2018, Cisco maintained its leadership across multiple enterprise infrastructure segments according to new research from Synergy Research Group. The report monitored six enterprise infrastructure segments — data center servers, switches and routers, hosted and cloud collaboration, on-premises collaboration, network security, and WLAN — throughout the past year. Across these six segments vendor revenues grew 13 percent from the previous year, reaching $235 billion over the last four quarters.
According to the research firm, 2018 represented a shift from previous years. In the years preceding, IT infrastructure spending had remained largely stagnant but finally picked up near the end of 2017.
“There was a lot of server refresh going on, and due to the dramatically increasing amounts of data and processing requirements, the new gear tends to be much more feature rich and with higher ASPs [average server prices],” said John Dinsdale, a chief analyst at Synergy Research Group. “So unit shipments of enterprise servers have been flat-to-low growth, but prices have shot through the roof.”
The largest of these six segments is the data center server market, totaling nearly $40 billion in 2018. This market also has the highest growth, increasing by 26 percent from the previous year. The growth of this segment, according to Synergy, can be attributed to the emergence of more highly featured server configurations and overall higher average selling prices.
While switches and routers were the second largest in size, about $27 billion in revenue, the second highest growth rate was in the hosted and cloud collaboration segment. This segment was up 22 percent from the previous year, which Synergy attributes to the decrease in the spending on on-premises collaboration.
Cisco held onto its market leader position in all but one segment, data center servers, where it is ranked in fifth place. Over the past four quarters Synergy found that Cisco’s market share was 23 percent. This was a 2 percent decrease from the previous year, which the research firm says is due to its low ranking in the highest growing segment.
The report also found that HPE was the No.2 vendor in IT infrastructure. The company holds 11 percent of the market share across all six segments. HPE ranked first in data center servers, second in WLAN, and third in switches and routers.
Dell EMC, Huawei, Microsoft, and Check Point trailed both HPE and Cisco, taking the second position in the remaining segments. Dell EMC was ranked second in enterprise data center servers, Huawei in switches and routers, Microsoft in both collaboration segments, and Check Point in network security. Synergy noted that some of the other vendors in the report were Lenovo, Inspur, Twilio, RingCentral, Ubiquiti, and Palo Alto Networks.
Synergy noted that despite the increased demand for public cloud services, the private data center market is still experiencing high rates of growth. However, Dinsdale clarified that while cloud services are “growing like crazy,” the amount that cloud providers are spending on their own data center infrastructure is increasing at a higher rate than what is happening on the enterprise side. “I’d characterize it more like there being a ton of growth in the overall market, but cloud is sucking up most of the growth while enterprise or on-prem is relatively flat,” he said.