Micro-Server Shipments to Triple in 2013

Demand for data center services for mobile gadgets is making an impact

Smartphones and tablets aren't the kind of devices likely to have any sort of relationship with micro-servers at first glance, but analysts definitely see one, and a significant one at that.

In fact, analyst firm iSupply believes smartphones and tablets will cause a large increase in micro-server shipments this year.

It turns out that all those mobile gadgets need a lot of cloud computing support, not to mention data center services.

Previously, this would not have had much bearing on the micro-server market because such small systems didn't have enough prowess to provide that sort of communications and support.

Now, though, technology has advanced, and a small server can do a lot in the right circumstances.

Thus, the so-called penetration rate of micro-servers on the total server market (the share, so to speak) will grow from 0.2% (2011) to 10% (2016).

That's still a bit far off, however. What really concerns us is, as we said, the ongoing year. Long story short, micro-server shipments will increase threefold.

That means around 291,000 units, 230% more than the 88,000 in 2012 and quite a bit beyond the 19,000 from 2011.

For those that like this sort of comparisons, that would make the 10% penetration projected for 2016 a fifty-fold surge over 2011 (1.2 million, give or take).

“Micro servers provide a solution to the challenge of increasing data-center usage driven by mobile platforms,” said Peter Lin, senior analyst for compute platforms at IHS.

“With cloud computing and data centers in high demand in order to serve more smartphones, tablets and mobile PCs online, specific aspects of server design are becoming increasingly important, including maintenance, expandability, energy efficiency and low cost.”

That both x86 (AMD Open 3.0) and ARM systems (64-Bit ARM-Based Dell X-Gene) are being promoted in parallel can only help lead to these outcomes.

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