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Q4 GCC x86 growth driven by Saudi, Kuwait: IDC

Wider MEA market also shows slight bump as shipments increase across form factors

Q4 GCC x86 growth driven by Saudi, Kuwait: IDC
The MEA x86 server market increased 3.5% in volume, year on year, in Q4 2012, according to IDC.

The x86 server market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) witnessed marginal year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). Referencing its latest EMEA Quarterly Server Tracker, the research firm today announced that the MEA x86 server market increased 3.5% in volume, year on year, in Q4 2012.

The Saudi Arabian market was the key performer of the quarter across the GCC, registering year-on-year volume growth of 69.5%.

"Along with several sizeable deals in different ministries, Saudi Arabia's healthy quarter was primarily due to a significant deal in the education sector," says Zeeshan Gaya, research manager for servers and systems at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. The UAE market, on the other hand, posted more subdued growth of 6.1%, year on year, in shipments, with key projects taking place in the government and oil & gas sectors.

In contrast, the other GCC countries declined 9.5% in volume, collectively, in the same period, although revenue increased marginally by 4.1% year on year. Kuwait was the only country that registered volume growth among these countries, with an increase of 12.8%.

"Kuwait's telecom and finance sectors contributed to the country's strong growth in Q4 2012," says Gaya.

Server shipments in the North African market increased in volume by 9.6%, year on year, in Q4 2012, driven by government initiatives in the Moroccan market, while the Algerian and Tunisian server markets declined further.

In South Africa, 8.1% growth in server shipments predominantly stemmed from demand in the government, telecommunications, and finance verticals. Server uptake in the small and medium-sized business (SMB) segment was sluggish in Q4 2012 due to cyclical purchasing trends.

"The telcos are investing in infrastructure to expand their datacentres in readiness for cloud service delivery, as demand for cloud services is picking up," notes Gaya.

Shipments of all form factors increased year on year in the MEA region during Q4 2012. Towers accounted for the highest share of growth, at 18.0%, followed by rack-optimised and blade servers, at 15.4% and 14.2%, respectively. Following this trend, shipments of density-optimised servers were up by 9.7%, year on year, across the region.

Eight-socket servers took a hit in the forth quarter of the year, recording a year-on-year volume decline of 28.8%. One-socket and four-socket server shipments grew by an impressive 28.8% and 20.1% respectively. Two-socket servers remain the dominant capability, comprising more than half of the MEA market with 65.9% volume share.

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