THE BOOMING MARKETS for cloud services and hosted mobile applications are going to drive phenomenal growth 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 to as many 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 reach 291,000 units, an increase of 230 per cent.
Analysts 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 micro servers 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 of its hardware roadmap, while Intel has sought to introduce its Atom processors into the low-power server market. µ