Hyperscalers went on a buying spree in 2020's second quarter.
The new figures, provided by IDC, cover the period between April and June 2020, during which a hefty portion of the world's population were working and socialising from home during lockdowns.
In total, the quarter saw 3.2 million servers shipped, almost 20 per cent more than the same period last year, but less than the industry's record-breaking 3.3m units in the first quarter.
Vendors that IDC rates as "ODM Direct" - the likes of Qanta that sell direct to clouds - saw unit sales increase 61.5 per cent to 1.1 m units, up . Inspur, the Chinese company that which makes gear for cloud operators, shipped 353,329 units, up 52.7 per cent year-on-year.
Between ODMs and Inspur alone, shipments likely to be headed for the clouds jumped by 540,000 units. By comparison, shipments from most traditional vendors grew in single figures, with Dell shipments down 10 percent.
Dell still scored 14 percent of all revenue, a point behind HPE's share of the $24 billion spent on servers in the quarter. Inspur took 10.5 per cent thanks to 77 per cent year-on-year growth, and Lenovo and IBM both captured about six per cent.
But the real winner of the period was white-box makers, which raked about a third of all revenue across the quarter, or as much as HPE and Dell combined.
"We certainly see areas of reduced spending, but this was offset by investment made by large cloud builders and enterprises targeting solutions that support shifting infrastructure needs caused by the global pandemic," surmised Paul Maguranis, a senior research analyst at IDC.
In similar results for the storage sector, IDC said that total capacity shipments grew roughly 60 per cent year-on-year to 124.6 exabytes. Again, hyperscalers made up the bulk of this figures, shipping 74.8 exabytes in the quarter and scoring 122 per cent growth year-on-year.
Dell, HPE and NetApp were IDC's top three vendors by revenue, but all went backwards in terms of revenue. IBM defied that trend to post 12.6 per cent revenue growth.
China grew the fastest of any region during the quarter, up 18.3 per cent year-over-year, which may explain why Huawei achieved 47.6 per cent revenue growth for the quarter.
IDC said Canada was the only other region to generate growth during the quarter, and even that was an anaemic 1.1 per cent. Revenue fell everywhere else. Japan dipped 4.7 points, EMEA fell 7.8 and the USA crashed by 8.7 per cent. Things were worse in Asia/Pacific where sales slipped by 14.7 per cent, a slightly better result than Latin America's 18.7 per cent slide. ®