Hardware spending for data centers, worldwide, is expected to top nearly $99 billion in 2011, up 12.7 percent from last year's figures, according to a recent report. The report is also predicting that data center hardware will total more than $106 billion in 2012, and surpass $125 billion by 2015. Data center hardware spending was defined as including, among other things, servers, storage and enterprise data center networking equipment.
The largest data centers, with more than 500 racks of equipment, are expected to increase their spending share by nearly six percent by 2015, driven, in part, by the cloud and the shift from internal data center provision to external.
This means that worldwide data center hardware spending will reach and surpass 2008 levels, the highest thus far and the report points to storage as 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 come from the storage market.
In 2010, the study found that two 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, it is estimated that two percent of data centers will contain 60 percent of floor space and account for more than 70 percent of data center hardware spending.
Gone are the days of the traditional in-house enterprise data center, which is coming under fire from three sides.
First, virtualization is helping companies utilize their infrastructure more effectively, inhibiting overall system growth. Second, data centers are becoming increasingly efficient, leading to higher system deployment densities and lowering the demand for floor space.
Finally, the move to consolidate third-party data centers is reducing the overall number of midsize data centers. Meanwhile, the largest data center class continues to benefit from the rise of cloud computing.