Quanta – the Lenovo for servers?
That the PC industry is on the ropes is nothing new. That companies are adopting cloud rapidly (especially for certain workloads), is not nothing new. But these changes are starting to have a ripple affect in area hereto considered safe for traditional IT vendors: servers (and the software that goes on them). Normally, server companies (think Dell, HP, IBM) sell servers to IT departments who install and run them. However, most of these companies don’t actually manufacturer the servers themselves. These are outsourced to “ODM” (Original Design Manufacturers), typically firms in Taiwan (see chart).
With the rise of cloud though, most of the server demand is being driven by cloud providers (think Facebook, Rackspace, Amazon, Google, Microsoft etc.), and not just IT departments. According to a newish article from the Economist, some of these ODMs are starting to come out of the shadows and sell directly to end users.
85% of Quanta’s servers are now being sold directly to end customers (e.g. Facebook)
Commonwealth magazine estimates that servers sold by Quanta will overtake those sold by IBM this year. If these are good enough for Facebook and Rackspace, surely these are good enough for IT departments with much smaller workloads to support? The traditional server guys should pay attention.