Research: State of Servers: Full, Fast and Diverse

Nov 08, 2012


Research: State of Servers: Full, Fast and Diverse

It’s innovate or die in the IT equipment industry, and that goes double in the server business. Key findings from our new InformationWeek State of Servers Survey and analysis:

> Big hardware vendors are trying to differentiate by addressing key sources of IT pain: management complexity, ­infrastructure integration, and the escalating costs of energy and data center floor space. For IT, the No. 1 buying feature is configuration (CPU speed, storage, memory, on-board networking), rated as very important by 46%. Just 18% peg ­potential power and cooling savings as very important when evaluating.

> Intel® x86 processors are the undisputed architecture leader, with 81% citing extensive use compared with 40% for Intel Itanium, IBM Power, IBM z Series and Sun UltraSparc — combined.

> Leading-edge servers aren’t defined by speeds and feeds; anyone can build a fast box. More important: integrating network and storage components; system monitoring telemetry; holistic, cross-server energy management; and modular, high-density packaging. In fact, blades are in use by 60%, though for 21% that use is limited.

> The percentage of respondents requiring support for 10 Gbps Ethernet is up five points over our August 2011 survey, to 22%. An additional 50% are considering 10 Gbps, up six points.

> Facebook’s Open Compute Project may have begun as a way to improve efficiency and space utilization at the ­company’s new Prineville, Ore., data center. But it could end up as an industry-wide standard and hardware ecosystem with many OEMs.

We’ll examine these trends in detail, using results from our latest InformationWeek State of Server Technology Survey to calibrate market movement and vendor plans against the real-world actions of IT practitioners. We’ll look at server buying plans, budget changes and vendor preferences, along with the technical features IT pros value most when evaluating new equipment. And we’ll wrap with some advice for filling out your 2013 server shopping list. (R5601112)

Survey Name   InformationWeek 2012 State of Server Technology Survey

Survey Date   August 2012

Region   North America

Number of Respondents    534

Purpose   To determine the state of server adoption in the enterprise.

Methodology   InformationWeek surveyed business technology decision-makers ­involved in determining the need for, recommending, specifying or authorizing/approving the ­purchase of servers at North American companies. The survey was conducted online, and respondents were recruited via an email invitation containing an embedded link to the survey. The email invitation was sent to qualified InformationWeek subscribers.

Research Report