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HP's enterprise-focused spin-off finished 2015 at the top of IDC's server vendor rankings.
Worldwide, server makers sold $15.3 billion worth of hardware in the fourth quarter of 2015 (4Q15), a 5.2 percent year-over-year increase, according to IT analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC). Shipments totaled 2.6 million units, a 3.8 percent gain.
For all of 2015, the server market hit a new high. Vendors shipped reached 9.7 million servers last year, or 4.9 percent more units than in 2014, setting a new record. Revenues topped $55.1 billion for the year, an 8 percent increase.
Last year, enterprises were busy upgrading their server setups, embracing some of the most transformative technology trends that currently gripping the IT industry.
"As the cyclical refresh of 2015 comes to an end, the market focus has begun to shift towards software-defined infrastructure and hybrid environment management, as organizations begin to transform their IT infrastructure as well as prepare for the compute demands expected over the next few years from next-gen IT domains such as IoT and cognitive analytics," observed Kuba Stolarski, research director for IDC's Servers and Emerging Technologies practice, in a statement.
Again, increased demand for cloud-based software and services is helping to lift the server market. "In the short term, 2016 looks to be a year of accelerated cloud infrastructure expansion with existing footprints filling out and new cloud datacenter buildouts across the globe."
With nearly a quarter of the server market, HP Enterprise, which completed its split from HP Inc. on Nov. 1, claimed first place with approximately $3.8 billion in server revenue. Dell came in second with $2.5 billion in server sales and 16.7 percent of the market. Rounding out the top five are IBM, Lenovo and Cisco, the latter of which is closing in on $1 billion in quarterly server revenue ($927.9 million in 4Q15) after sales surged 20.6 percent last quarter on a year-over-year basis.
The companies maintained their rankings after full-year sales were tallied.
During 2015, HP Enterprise racked up $14.1 billion in server sales for 25.6 percent of the market. Dell came in just shy of $10 billion ($9.6 billion) last year, nabbing a 17.5 percent share of the market. IBM experienced a 7.6 percent drop in revenues to $7.1 billion and 13 percent of the market while Lenovo, which acquired IBM's x86 server business in 2014, saw sales jump nearly 170 percent to $4.1 billion. Cisco closed out the year with sales of over $3.5 billion and a 6.5 percent share of the server market.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.