Google hits #5 spot in Server Mfr Ranking, The Big Users defining the market

Wired has a post that has people's attention that HP, Dell, and IBM are no longer the dominant Server force of the past.  Part of the past is the reliance on IDC and Gartner to get a view on the market.

It should be noted, however, that research operations such as IDC and Gartner don’t have the best view into direct sales by the ODMs — let alone Google’s highly secretive hardware operation — and these hidden parts of the market are increasingly important. It’s the big web players that are moving away from the HPs and the Dells, and most of these same companies offer large “cloud” services that let other businesses run their operations without purchasing servers in the first place.

What is catching people's attention is that Google is the #5 manufacturer.

But just four years later, Bryant says, the landscape has completely changed. Today, she explains,eight server makers account for 75 percent of Intel’s server chip revenues, and at least one of those eight doesn’t even sell servers. It only makes servers for itself. “Google is something like number five on that list,” Bryant told us on Monday evening, during a dinner with reporters in downtown San Francisco.

But, the overall pattern that is occurring is Google, Amazon, Facebook, Tencent, and Microsoft are investing and demanding server innovation that the big OEMs (HP, Dell, and IBM) are not necessarily set up to serve.  Which then brings up the ODMs of Quanta, Tyan, Supermicro, ZT Systems and others who are rising up the ranks.

As Bryant points out, other companies are now buying machines directly from “original design manufacturers,” or ODMs, in Asia, working to cut costs in much the same way. This includes Facebook, and according to a former employee of one large ODM, it includes Amazon as well.

These ODMs in general don't have the marketing budgets to have IDC and Gartner analyze and report their sales. 

Would you trust an Intel executive or IDC/Gartner and a vendor to give a report on the state of the server market?

But an HP spokesperson said her comments were inconsistent with the latest server market stats from research outfit IDC, which still put the combined market share of HP, Dell, and IBM at 73.9 percent, down slightly from 78.2 percent in 2008.