Today if you use a search engine, update your status via social media, or generate a map on the internet to get directions, there is a good chance that a Dell server is making it possible. We can make such a bold statement because Dell powers 4 of the 5 largest search engines, 3 of the 4 top social media sites, 4 of the 5 largest clouds and 12 of the 15 most visited websites.
Much of this success is related to Dell’s Data Center Solutions (DCS) group, which was started in 2007. The DCS group was started to specifically address Internet companies building significant data center capacity that needed a new type of server to support their massive scale. Last year we celebrated the shipping of our millionth DCS server and we continue to take a leadership position. In the fourth quarter Dell was #1 in IDC’s density optimized server space with 53% share. The density optimized server space is ~9% of the x86 market and industry forecasts expect it to grow at a 9% CAGR through 2017.
A topic that has received a lot of attention in this space including recent competitor announcements is ARM servers and we’d like to share our view. Over the years Dell has developed microserver solutions based upon both Intel, AMD, and VIA and partnered with SeaMicro to jointly sell their Atom-based solution into hyperscale customers. Since June of last year we’ve been focused on enabling the software ecosystem with 32-bit ARM servers, and will continue in that effort. ARM CPUs currently support 32-bit processing only, which means current 64-bit code would have to be modified to run on 32-bit, and likely modified again when 64-bit comes out in the next year or two. We showed a 64-bit ARM server prototype running the OCP systems management framework in January at the Open Compute Summit. In terms of broad-based adoption, our customers have told us they don’t plan to put ARM servers into a production environment in any meaningful quantity until 64-bit is available. What they want now are servers to test and validate the ARM instruction set. Dell will clearly have more to announce in the space in the future.
As we execute for growth in the data center, software and services we are focused on providing clear value propositions around a specific set of workloads to our DCS customers. As always we welcome your comments.