Spiceworks Study Shows On-Premises Server Infrastructure Remains Vital to the Workplace

Spiceworks Study Shows On-Premises Server Infrastructure Remains Vital to the Workplace

March 4, 2019 Off By Hoofer

Spiceworks, the marketplace that connects the IT industry, today announced the 2019 State of Servers report that examines on-premises server infrastructure in the workplace, including purchase plans, brand prevalence and perceptions, and emerging trends in businesses across North America and Europe. The results show that 98 percent of businesses currently run on-premises servers, and 72 percent of businesses plan to purchase new server hardware within the next three years. 

Enterprises with more than 1,000 employees are most likely to purchase new servers this year: 68 percent of enterprises plan to buy servers within the next 12 months, compared to 34 percent of mid-size companies with 100 to 999 employees, and 30 percent of small businesses with less than 100 employees. According to Spiceworks State of IT Budgets report, across all company sizes, servers account for 12 percent of businesses’ hardware budgets for 2019.

“While many workloads are shifting to the cloud, on-premises server hardware continues to be vital to the workplace, and the vast majority of businesses plan to buy servers for the foreseeable future, even if they’re also taking advantage of the cloud,” said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. “Additionally, thanks to competition in the market, businesses can expect continued advancements and access to a wealth of server infrastructure and component options.”

Server OS end of life prompts nearly one-third of businesses to consider new server purchases

The top factors driving businesses to purchase new server hardware include company growth, performance degradation of existing infrastructure, maintenance costs associated with aging hardware, and reliability issues. Additionally, nearly one-third of organizations said OS end of life, such as the January 2020 Windows Server 2008 end of service date, is also a purchase driver of new server hardware. When comparing company sizes, the results show enterprises are more likely to purchase new servers on a schedule outlined in a corporate technology replacement policy, while small businesses are more likely to wait until hardware failure.

When purchasing new servers, 48 percent of organizations plan to buy direct through the manufacturer, 38 percent plan to buy through a value-added reseller (VAR), 26 percent plan to purchase through an online reseller, and 18 percent plan to go through a managed services provider (MSP).

Dell Technologies most widely used server brand in SMBs; HPE leads among enterprises

Across all company sizes, 68 percent of organizations reported using on-premises servers from Dell Technologies, while 46 percent reported using Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE). Additionally, 15 percent of organizations are using Cisco servers, 12 percent are using IBM servers, and 9 percent are using Lenovo servers. However, adoption varies by company size. For example, 65 percent of enterprises (1,000 or more employees) are currently using HPE servers compared to 45 percent of mid-size businesses (100-999 employees), and 41 percent of small businesses (1-99 employees). Conversely, 66 percent of small businesses and 71 percent of mid-size businesses are currently using Dell Technologies servers, compared to 60 percent of enterprises. 

Dell Technologies ranks highest across range of attributes; IBM most associated with reliability

Spiceworks also examined the attributes IT buyers associate with the server brands their business is using or planning to use. Dell Technologies ranks the highest for value for money, quality support, and ease of management-three of the most important attributes according to respondents. IBM was most frequently associated with reliability, the most important server attribute according to survey respondents. Of note, one-third of IT professionals did not associate any server brand with security, making it a potential point of differentiation for server providers.

Server component technologies expected to shift in the coming years

In the 2019 State of Servers report, Spiceworks also examined emerging trends, including the shift of core server technologies and the emergence of hyperconverged infrastructure. Top emerging trends include:

  • AMD gains ground in the server processor space: Intel remains the most commonly used CPU manufacturer with 93 percent of businesses currently using Intel processors in their servers. However, 16 percent of respondents are currently using AMD processors in their servers, and usage is expected to increase to 21 percent by 2020.
  • Adoption of SSDs in servers soars: 62 percent of businesses use SSDs in their on-premises servers today, and usage is expected to increase to 72 percent by 2020. Currently, 51 percent are using SATA SSDs, 34 percent are using SAS SSDs, and 13 percent are using NVMe SSDs.
  • Hyperconverged infrastructure poised to go mainstream: 46 percent of organizations plan to use hyperconverged infrastructure solutions by 2020, up from 38 percent using one or more solutions today. Currently, 27 percent of respondents are using Dell EMC VxRail or VxRack, compared to 3 percent using HPE SimpliVity, Nutanix, and Cisco HyperFlex, respectively, while 2 percent are currently using Scale Computing.