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Cloud to prompt boom in microserver sales

07 Feb 2013
Intel Atom Z670 chip

The booming market for cloud services and hosted mobile applications is going to drive phenomenal increase in low-power microserver sales over the coming years.

Research firm IHS said that over the next year, sales in microservers will nearly triple, while 2016 will see sales rise as high as 1.2 million units.

The company estimates that 88,000 units were sold in 2012, up from just 19,000 in 2011. For the next year, sales are expected to clock in at 291,000 units, an increase of 230 percent.

IHS believe that the growth in microservers has been driven by the rise of both cloud computing services and mobile devices. With users increasingly looking to access hosted applications, demand is growing for the low power consumption and scalability offered by microserver hardware.

"With cloud computing and datacentres 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," said IHS senior analyst for compute platforms Peter Lin.

"Such factors are among the advantages delivered by microservers compared to higher-end machines like mainframes, supercomputers and enterprise servers — all of which emphasise performance and reliability instead."

Vendors have also started to take notice of the growth in demand for low-power servers. ARM has made servers the centrepiece on its hardware roadmap, while Intel has sought to introduce its Atom platform into the low-power server market.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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