Summary:

Lesser known server makers reported bigger revenue growth for another quarter, as Facebook and other webscale companies keep buying custom servers.

Open Compute Project battery cabinet
photo: Open Compute Project

No-name server makers posted stronger year-to-year revenue growth than traditional powers such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to new Gartner data. The news, which falls in line with a trend going back to the third quarter of 2011, makes sense as webscale companies — Google, Facebook, etc. — demand inexpensive but custom-tailored servers for their data centers.

According to Gartner, the “other vendors” increased revenue almost 22 percent year over year for the quarter, beating out Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM and Oracle. HP, a perennial leader in servers, saw its worldwide server revenue decline 3.3 percent during the same period, while Oracle’s dropped 18 percent.

“Application-as-a-business data centers such as Baidu, Facebook and Google were the real drivers of significant volume growth for the year,” Gartner Research Vice President Jeffrey Hewitt said in a statement.

HP and Dell lost some business from cloud and hosting provider Rackspace, which turned to Quanta and Wistron for custom servers based on Open Compute Project designs. Quanta also captured business from Amazon and Facebook.

The Chinese search giant Baidu, which might be planning the world’s largest data center, with 100,000 servers, is reportedly giving its server business to Marvell Technologies.

If the trend continues, and smaller server makers such as Quanta keep gaining ground, Gartner might want to start breaking out the “other vendors” in its reports.

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