New Q1 data from Synergy Research Group shows that over the last four quarters spending on data center infrastructure reached $114 billion, with software now accounting for 23% of the total. Microsoft and VMware dominate the software segments of the market, in aggregate accounting for almost 90% of software revenues. There is a considerably broader range of large vendors in the hardware side of the market, where the top four companies in aggregate account for 54% of revenues. HP has a strong lead in data center hardware, followed by Cisco, Dell and IBM. Other leading data center vendors include EMC, Lenovo, NetApp, Oracle, Fujitsu and Hitachi.

Data center infrastructure includes servers, server OS, storage, networking, network security and virtualization applications. Total spend on data center over the four-quarter period grew by 6% relative to the previous four quarters, with software growing by 14% and hardware growing by 4%. Among the individual segments some of the highest growth was seen in virtualization applications, server OS, blade servers and storage applications.   

“Clearly the single biggest driver of spend on data center infrastructure is the boom in cloud computing. The shift in computing workloads to public and private clouds is driving huge investments in both service provider and enterprise data centers,” said Jeremy Duke, Synergy Research Group’s founder and chief analyst. “However, the industry and media focus on cloud does tend to hide the fact that almost half of all data center investment is still accounted for by traditional non-cloud applications. That part of the data center market remains enormous and will remain a prime source of revenue for vendors for many years to come” added John Dinsdale, a chief analyst and research director.