HPE secured 20.9 percent of the market, or $3.3 billion in revenue, followed closely by Dell EMC in the no. 2 spot with 19.5 percent ($3.1 billion).
White box ranked third, with 16.9 percent of the market, or $2.7 billion in sales. White box includes all vendors that produce rack server hardware with operating system software sold separately, such as Quanta Cloud Technology (QCT), Wistron, and Inventec.
While white box held the no. 3 position in terms of revenue, it was no. 1 in number of units shipped with 23 percent of data center server units shipped in the third quarter.
Enterprises continue to be the biggest buyers of data center servers. But IHS Markit expects cloud service providers to overtake enterprises beginning in 2019, said Vlad Galabov, a senior analyst on the data center compute team.
Enterprises bought 62 percent ($37.6 billion) of data center servers in 2017. Meanwhile, 25 percent ($15 billion) went to cloud service providers, and telcos took 13 percent ($7.6 billion).
“In 2018 CSPs [cloud service providers] continue on a positive growth trajectory but servers shipped to CSPs do not yet surpass enterprise,” Galabov said in an email. “Server units shipped to CSPs is expected to be 42 percent and to enterprise 43 percent in 2018. We expect 3Q18 to be the crossover quarter and from 2019 onwards, we expect CSPs to be the biggest market segment.”
This correlates with Cisco’s latest Cloud Index Report, published last week, that forecast cloud data center traffic will skyrocket over the next few years. The findings show that by 2021, 94 percent of all workloads will be cloud-based, and global cloud traffic will represent 95 percent of total data center traffic.
IHS Markit also found programmable Ethernet adapter revenue was up 7 percent quarter-over-quarter and up 43 percent year-over-year, hitting $22 million in the third quarter of 2017.
Correction: an earlier version of this story incorrectly reported server revenue figures in millions due to incorrect conversions from IHS Markit.