Cisco is finding new fortunes in the cloud infrastructure equipment segment by taking what Synergy Research said was a 15 percent market share during the third quarter, but that dominant spot is facing a formidable challenger from HP, which saw its share rise to nearly 13 percent.
The research firm said that Cisco's overall dominant spot in the market is related to its position in the networking segment and growing position in servers, while HP maintains its leadership in cloud servers. Meanwhile, Microsoft has taken over leadership of the OS segment and is one of the dominant players in the virtualization applications market.
There were also a number other notable shifts in the market. Microsoft eclipsed IBM, which Synergy said is due to its pending sale of the x86 product line to Lenovo as the No. 3 provider.
"I said earlier this year that cloud infrastructure leadership was becoming a bit of a two-horse race and the Q3 results reinforce that view," said Jeremy Duke, Synergy Research Group's founder and chief analyst. "IBM will fall further behind Cisco and HP now that it has finally divested its x86 server product line, while Microsoft is almost on its own in the OS segment but cannot match the revenues of the two leaders based on software alone."
Duke added that "Chinese vendors Huawei and Inspur are growing rapidly, while Lenovo will now join them as a major player in cloud infrastructure."
Overall, total third-quarter 2014 cloud infrastructure equipment revenues, including both hardware and software, were over $12 billion, having grown by 10 percent year-over-year.
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Synergy: Cisco maintains lead over HP in the cloud infrastructure market