Data centers are virtual or physical infrastructure used by different business enterprises to accommodate their server, computing and networking components and systems. It is a centralized repository used to store and manage mission critical data of several business operations. The need for larger data storage capacities, better efficiency and high data security is driving the data center equipment marketworldwide. In terms of revenue, the market for data center equipment was valued at USD 32.15 billion in 2013. Rising concerns towards secure data storage and data backup have further augmented the demand for advanced data center equipment. However, owing to the high power need of data center equipment, efficient power and cooling infrastructure is needed to support the equipment. For most organizations, meeting environmental regulations and government compliances remains the biggest challenge in data center cooling systems. This involves problems with the cooling of high density rack systems and uncertainty of the quantity and location of high density racks. Thus, high power consumption and cooling issues are some of the major challenges in the data center equipment market.
Introduction of new photovoltaic technologies and improvements in existing photovoltaic (PV) solar panels is expected to improve the efficiency offered by data center equipment in future. Additionally, provision of incentives by governments for renewable energy generation is expected to increase the adoption of green data centers. Hence, the adoption of new technologies is expected to make data centers more converged with cloud, more virtual and greener. Such changes are expected to offer end users of data centers with benefits such as low operational cost, and low capital and physical space requirement.
Different types of equipment used in the data center include servers, power distribution systems, and network equipment among others. In 2013, servers dominated the data center equipment market followed by networking equipments. High demand for servers is due to surge in demand across organizations which face need for centralized data storage for smooth and efficient operations. Different types of data center equipment are selected on the basis of particular requirement of end-users. Data center equipments are used by organizations across different industry verticals, such as banking and finance services and insurance (BFSI), telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, enterprises, and government among others. Global data center equipment market in 2013 was dominated by telecommunications segment, which accounted for 24.9% revenue share. Telecommunication sector generates massive amount of data in the form of call records, huge customer database, and sales among others. Hence, telecommunication industry needs efficient data center equipments in order to manage and process this tremendous amount of information.
Geographically, North America is expected to remain the largest market for data center equipments. Market growth in this region is driven by advancement in telecommunication sector and wide adoption of cloud services. As a result of which, the competitive landscape in the data center market is changing. Large and aggressive competitors are each bringing their own class of new products to address this market. Acquisitions, industry consolidations and new alliances among market players are expected to increase for companies to remain competitive in this market. Some of the major players in this market include Emulex Corp., Digi International Inc., Cisco System Inc., F5 Networks Inc., NEC Corp., Brocade Communication System Inc., Schneider Electric SA, Meru Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, and Hewlett Packard Co. among others.