One third of data centre spend goes into hyperscalers’ pockets through Q3, finds Synergy

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.

While good technology analysis revolves around exploring new markets, conducting research and publishing authoritative market share scores, sometimes insights can be gleaned by just freshening up current figures. Long-time cloud infrastructure Synergy Research has done just that in its latest note which focuses on continued hyperscaler dominance.

The latest data from Synergy has shown that data centre hardware and software spending from hyperscale operators in the first three quarters of the year has gradually risen, and this year represented a third of total spending.

While data centre spending from enterprises and service providers is now at 67% of total outlay – compared with 85% in 2014 – overall spend from this sector has risen 6% in five years, albeit in line with overall market expansion of 34%.

As continues to be the case, moving enterprise workloads to the cloud means the squeeze continues to be put under enterprise spending. Finding recent tales of large organisations moving their infrastructure to a major cloud vendor is like shooting fish in a barrel; to pick just a few, Best Western Hotels is in the process of going all-in on Amazon Web Services (AWS) as evinced at re:Invent earlier this month, while Salesforce and Sainsbury’s were recent client wins for Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform respectively.

Synergy also noted ‘continue growth in social networking’ as a primary indicator for increased hyperscaler spend. Total data centre infrastructure equipment revenues – including cloud and on-prem, hardware and software – were at $38 billion for Q319.

John Dinsdale, a chief analyst at Synergy, argued the trend around flat enterprise spend is not going away any time soon. “We are seeing very different scenarios play out in terms of data centre spending by hyperscale operators and enterprises,” said Dinsdale. “On the one hand revenues at the hyperscale operators continue to grow strongly, driving increased demand for data centres and data centre hardware. On the other hand, we see a continued decline in the volume of servers being bought by enterprises.

“The impact of those declines is balanced by steady increases in server average selling prices, as IT operations demand ever-more sophisticated server configurations, but overall spending by enterprises remains almost flat,” added Dinsdale. “These trends will continue into the future.”

Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their experiences and use-cases? The Data Centre Congress, 4th March 2021 is a free virtual event exploring the world of data centres. Learn more here and book your free ticket:

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