The Story behind the Server Numbers

It’s that time of year when leading industry analyst firms like Gartner and IDC get ready to announce quarterly x86 server market share data.  Preliminary numbers have even started to appear, but don’t be deceived – there is more to the story than meets the eye.

An individual vendor’s server shipment market share is not always linear quarter over quarter and Dell has gained unit share in five of the last eight quarters.  There can and will be fluctuations but the larger point remains the same that Dell continues to gain share.  For example, one vendor can close one big deal, even at a loss, to gain on shipment share.  And to be frank, that’s exactly what happened here. 

When bidding for one large hyperscale deal earlier this year in which product was delivered in Q3, we believe HP won the deal at a loss in order to buy some additional time in the top spot.  It’s not a business strategy Dell is interested in following.  When it comes to the hyperscale market, we’re in the business of helping organizations running hundreds or even thousands of servers at a time maximize data center efficiency at every turn.  In fact, the hyperscale market is the most prevalent in the United States and China, and Dell maintains the No. 1 spot in China. 

So, while there will be some press coverage and industry chatter around HP making a comeback this quarter, we’d like to remind readers that Dell has been growing faster than the largest companies. We remain committed to our goal of becoming the No. 1 x86 server vendor worldwide and believe we’ll achieve this by continuing to help our customers meet their business goals. 

One topic on which I’d like to offer a comment is the incorrect speculation that our recent go-private transaction affected Dell’s Q3 server shipment market share performance.  This could not be further from the truth.  The fact is we’ve introduced some great products – PowerEdge 12th Generation Servers and most recently PowerEdge VRTX – and our products and solutions continue to gain momentum.  Every day, we talk to customers who say they’ve chosen Dell because our products and solutions deliver the end-to-end technology and support they need to drive business innovation. 

I also wanted to address questions about the impact of ODMs on the hyperscale server market in particular. As someone who has been in the server industry for many years, I often find customer adoption similar to a pendulum. Some businesses try a DIY approach and turn to an ODM for a more barebones approach, but they don’t always find the innovation, accountability and reliability that their business requires and they resume working with a major server vendor like Dell the next time. With more than one million Dell hyperscale servers in the market, we see customers continuing to turn to us for the accountability and reliability we provide with our end-to-end solutions that optimize the entire data center.

We remain steadfast and optimistic that our goal to be the No. 1 vendor in the x86 server market is within reach.  Our customers and partners are confident in their relationships with Dell.  Dell is determined to deliver the best value, performance and innovation to the market and we will not waver on that commitment.  

About the Author: Forrest Norrod