Worldwide cloud IT infrastructure spend grew to $32.6 billion in 2016

Vendor revenue from sales of infrastructure products (server, storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud IT, including public and private cloud, grew by 9.2% year over year to $32.6 billion in 2016, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker. Vendor revenue for the fourth quarter (4Q16) grew 7.3% to $9.2 billion.

Cloud IT infrastructure sales as a share of overall worldwide IT spending climbed to 37.2% in 4Q16, up from 33.4% a year ago. Revenue from infrastructure sales to private cloud grew by 10.2% to $3.8 billion, and to public cloud by 5.3% to $5.4 billion. In comparison, revenue in the traditional (non-cloud) IT infrastructure segment decreased 9.0% year over year in the fourth quarter. 

Ethernet switch leads private cloud infrastructure growth
Private cloud infrastructure growth was led by Ethernet switch at 52.7% year-over-year growth, followed by server at 9.3%, and storage at 3.6%. Public cloud growth was also led by Ethernet switch at 30.0% year-over-year growth, followed by server at 2.4% and a 2.1% decline in storage. In traditional IT deployments, storage declined the most (10.8% year over year), with Ethernet switch and server declining 3.4% and 9.0%, respectively.

"Growth slowed to single digits in 2016 in the cloud IT infrastructure market as hyperscale cloud datacenter growth continued its pause," said Kuba Stolarski, research director for Computing Platforms at IDC. "Network upgrades continue to be the focus of public cloud deployments, as network bandwidth has become by far the largest bottleneck in cloud datacenters. After some delays for a few hyperscalers, datacenter buildouts and refresh are expected to accelerate throughout 2017, built on newer generation hardware, primarily using Intel's Skylake architecture."

Fastest growth in Japan
From a regional perspective, vendor revenue from cloud IT infrastructure sales grew fastest in Japan at 42.3% year over year in 4Q16, followed by Middle East & Africa at 33.6%, Canada at 16.6%, Western Europe at 15.6%, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) at 14.5%, Central and Eastern Europe at 11.6%, Latin America at 9.9%, and the United States at 0.1%.

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