Research: State of Servers: Full, Fast and Diverse

Posted by on November 12, 2012

It’s innovate or die in the IT equipment industry, and that goes double in the server business.

InformationWeek Reports (, a service provider for peer-based IT research and analysis, announced the release of its latest research report State of Servers: Full, Fast and Diverse. The report includes analysis from InformationWeek 2012 State of Server Technology Survey and examines the top trends to calibrate market movement and vendor plans against the real-world actions of IT practitioner. Over 500 business technology professionals responded to this survey.

The report investigates server buying plans, budget changes and vendor preferences, along with the technical features IT pros value most when evaluating new equipment. It closes with advice for filling out your 2013 server shopping list.

Key Research Findings:

  • 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.

The report was written by Kurt Marko, an InformationWeek and Network Computing contributor and IT industry veteran, who is pursuing his passion for communications after a long and varied career in high-tech.

For full access to the research data, members can download now:

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