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Press Release

Cloud and colocation providers drive rack revenue to $1.5 billion and rack PDU revenue to $1 billion in 2018

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The global market for racks in 2018 generated annual growth 3.4 percent to reach $1.5 billion in size, while the rack power distribution unit (rPDU) segment expanded by 8.9 percent to total $1.0 billion.

The strong global macroeconomic backdrop last year helped spur significant data center investment from cloud and colocation data center service providers and a broad range of on-premises data center deployments, according to the Data Center Rack Systems Intelligence Service from IHS Markit | Technology, now a part of Informa Tech. Cloud and colocation service providers deployed racks and rPDUs at the fastest growth rate among all purchasers, with near double-digit growth relative to 2017. On-premises data center modernization deployments in the finance, telco, healthcare and retail vertical markets also contributed to rack and rPDU growth near mid-single-digit percentage rates.

Global shipments in the rack market are being led by 42U rack enclosures with dimensions of 1,070 to 1,100 millimeters (mm) deep and 600mm wide. However, racks that are taller, wider and deeper are growing at the fastest rates. This increase in rack dimensions is being driven by the adoption of larger servers and a requirement for increased space for airflow and cable management.

Rack PDUs are continuing a transition from basic models to networked product types, commonly referred to intelligent rPDUs. This trend towards intelligent rPDUs is spurring deployments of switched product types, which not only allow for power monitoring, but also management at either the device or outlet level. This trend is driven by an effort to promote energy-efficient operations and compute deployments at data centers operated by cloud and colocation providers.

However, this hasn’t spelled the end of basic rPDUs, because in some instances, hyperscale service providers are still deploying non-networked rPDUs when power is monitored further upstream.

“Increasing coprocessor server attachment and CPU power requirements are having tangible impacts on data center physical infrastructure,” said Lucas Beran, principal analyst at IHS Markit | Technology. “Racks are increasing in size to accommodate changing IT infrastructure needs and to provide adequate airflow. rPDU deployments are increasing their power-rating capacity as well as transitioning to networked technology to help increase energy efficiency through monitoring and management. We are in the early stages, but today’s rack infrastructure is absolutely being deployed with higher rack densities in mind.

More Rack Enclosure and rPDU Market Highlights

  • IT rack and enclosure revenues grew 3.4 percent to $1.5 billion in 2018, with a five-year CAGR of 4.0 percent.
  • Rack and enclosure revenues grew the fastest in Asia at a rate of 4.6 percent, followed by Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at 4.5 percent, and the Americas at 1.9 percent.
  • Rittal, Schneider Electric, and Chatsworth Products (CPI) hold the top-three global rack and enclosure revenue market share positions, accounting for approximately one-third of the market.
  • Rack PDU revenues grew 8.9 percent to $1.02 billion in 2018, with a five-year CAGR of 3.7 percent. Non-networked rPDU revenues grew 7.5 percent, while networked rPDU revenues expanded by 9.7 percent in 2018.
  • The Americas regions generated the fastest growth for rack PDUs, with revenue rising at a rate of 9.9 percent, followed by EMEA at 8.5 percent and Asia at 7.4 percent.
  • Legrand, Schneider Electric, and Vertiv hold the top global rack PDU revenue market share positions, accounting for nearly half of the market.

Data Center Rack Systems Intelligence Service

The IT Racks & Enclosures and Rack Power Distribution Market Trackers are part of the Data Center Rack Systems Intelligence Service. These market trackers provide in-depth analysis across three major regions: Americas, EMEA and Asia, and 27 minor regional segmentations. The research is further segmented by product type, power rating, form factor, input phase, sales channel, vertical market and application. These statistics are presented for 2018 and forecast through 2023. Supplier market shares are provided by major region for units and revenue, and product type.

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