Data Center Hardware Spending to Hit $99 Billion in 2011: Gartner

By Nathan Eddy

Worldwide data center hardware spending is projected to reach $98.9 billion in 2011, up 12.7 percent from 2010 spending of $87.8 billion, according to IT research firm Gartner. Data center hardware spending is forecast to total $106.4 billion in 2012 and surpass $126.2 billion in 2015. Gartner identifies data center hardware spending as including servers, storage and enterprise data center networking equipment.

The very largest size category of data centers (which is data centers with more than 500 racks of equipment) will increase its share of spending from 20 percent in 2010 to 26 percent in 2015, driven by the cloud and the shift from internal data center provision to external, according to Gartner research. 

"Worldwide data center hardware spending will finally reach and surpass 2008 levels," said Jon Hardcastle, research director at Gartner. "Growth in emerging regions — particularly Brazil, Russia, India and China (the BRIC countries) — is balanced by continued weakness relative to pre-downturn levels in Japan and Western Europe. Storage is the main driver for growth. Although only a quarter of data center hardware spending is on storage, almost half of the growth in spending will be from the storage market."

In 2010, 2 percent of data centers contained 52 percent of total data center floor space and accounted for 63 percent of data center hardware spending. In 2015, 2 percent of data centers will contain 60 percent of data center floor space and account for 71 percent of data center hardware spending.

"Traditional in-house enterprise data centers are under attack from three sides. Firstly, virtualization technologies are helping companies to utilize their infrastructure more effectively, inhibiting overall system growth," Hardcastle said. "Secondly, data centers are getting more efficient, leading to higher system deployment densities and inhibiting demand for floor space. Thirdly, the move to consolidated third-party data centers is reducing the overall number of midsize data centers. Meanwhile, the largest data center class is, of course, benefitting from the rise of cloud computing,"

This article was originally published on 2011-10-17