HP Enterprise (HPE), Cisco and Microsoft are the companies to beat in terms of data center infrastructure, according to new data released today by Synergy Research Group. Servers, server operating systems, data storage, networking, network security and virtualization software all fit within the firm's definition of data center infrastructure.
In the enterprise hardware space, which accounts for over half of all spending, HPE grew its share to 24 percent of the market in the third quarter (Q3) of 2015, followed by Dell and Cisco. However, the tables turn in the service provider data center hardware segment.
Cisco took the top spot in a tight race with HPE and Dell, with just over 10 percent share of the market each. Synergy Research cites Cisco's dominance in networking along with its fast-growing server business as major contributors to the company's increasing popularity among service providers.
Finally, Microsoft is far and away the leader in the data center software segment with nearly a 70-percent share of the market. VMware is a distant second with less than 20 percent.
"HPE has a strong lead in the largest piece of the market – enterprise hardware – while Cisco leads in the fastest growing part – service provider hardware," John Dinsdale told Datamation. "Meanwhile Microsoft is in a league of its own in data center software."
All told, data center operators spent $29 billion in Q3, a 3 percent year-over-year increase, according to the analyst firm. Most of that increased demand is coming from the service provider hardware segment, which grew 20 percent.
In terms of specific products categories, rack servers rank first with 34 percent of the total market. Synergy also noted that blade servers, integrated security platforms and virtualization software are growing quickly.
Unsurprisingly, this increased demand in data center infrastructure solutions is being primarily driven by the cloud.
"Data centers are the foundation of cloud services and this has driven annual spending on data center networking, compute and storage toward the $120 billion mark," said Jeremy Duke, founder and Chief Analyst at Synergy Research Group, in a statement. "The mass adoption of public cloud services has created the need for widespread deployment of hyperscale data centers and has led to record spending on service provider data center equipment."
Private cloud spending will also have a major effect on the market, said Duke. "While the market dynamics are different for private cloud, it too will drive enormous changes in the investment patterns for enterprise data center hardware, software, and services."
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.