The worldwide server market continued to grow through 2017 as worldwide server revenue increased 25.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, while shipments grew 8.8 percent year-over-year, according to Gartner, Inc.

In all of 2017, worldwide server shipments grew 3.1 percent and server revenue increased 10.4 percent compared with full year results for 2016.

"Server growth was driven by relatively strong economies for the quarter across the globe," according to Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner. "This was a somewhat surprising quarter because the strength was exhibited in a variety of positive server shipment and revenue mixes in almost all geographies."

The server markets in North America and Asia/Pacific were particularly robust, Gartner said, demonstrating double-digit growth in revenue (27.6 percent and 35.1 percent, respectively). In terms of shipments, North America grew 9.7 percent and Asia/Pacific grew 21.2 percent. EMEA posted strong yearly revenue growth of 19.9 percent while shipments decreased 7.9 percent. Japan grew 4.8 percent in revenue, but declined 5.1 percent in shipments. Latin America was the only region to exhibit a decline in both shipments (negative 4.7 percent) and revenue (negative 2.9 percent) in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The top players in the computer server space are still Dell EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), which were neck-and-neck based on revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017. Dell EMC ended the year in the No. 1 spot with 19.4 percent market share, followed closely by HPE with 19.3 percent of the market.

Dell EMC experienced strong growth in the quarter with 39.9 percent growth. HPE grew 5.5 percent. Inspur Electronics experienced the strongest growth in the fourth quarter of 2017 with 127.8 percent growth.

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As impressive as the fourth quarter sales figures for data servers were, final numbers for the year were: worldwide sever shipments increased 3.1 percent, while revenue grew 10.4 percent.

"Both enterprises and hyperscale data centers produced positive results globally for the year as end users seek to implement more digital business solutions," Hewitt said. "The outlook for 2018 suggests that modest growth will continue, with enterprise end users taking an ongoing hybrid approach to both on-premises and public cloud choices based on their server application objectives."

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