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State Of Servers 2014: Enterprise Providers On Thin Ice


The enterprise server business seems frozen in time. Our 2014 InformationWeek State of Server Technology Survey shows investment plans flat, interest in new technologies lukewarm, and the server fleet essentially unchanged over the past few years: Only 19% are increasing both the number and capability of servers, budgets are level or down for 60% and just 12% are using innovative microserver technology that could pay big dividends.


The chilling effect that mobile devices are having on PC sales is being repeated, but with a twist. For server vendors, the frost descends from the cloud, as enterprises increasingly use hosted infrastructure and software services in lieu of locally owned and operated systems. And while market data shows server sales dipping (down 6% in the second quarter from a year ago, according to IDC) perhaps just as worrisome is that our survey also shows a lack of enthusiasm for emerging tech on the part of enterprise IT. Even questions dealing with new features, chip technologies and system architectures that should generate interest were flat, which suggests either satisfaction with current conditions — unlikely given the constant stream of demanding new applications, data and mobile endpoints — or general lack of interest in making new server infrastructure commitments to internal data centers.


Lack of innovation isn’t to blame; server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary instigators of innovation are now cloud service providers, not enterprises. That could cause problems for organizations that cling to their existing architectures rather than moving workloads to public clouds or embracing new technology in their own data centers.

Network Computing

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