Global server shipments will resume on-year growth in 2020, driven by rising demand for cloud computing services and work-from-home solutions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Related demand will continue rising in 2021 due to the lingering of the pandemic, drikving up shipments by another 5.6% on year next year, according to Digitimes Research's latest figures from its Server Tracker.
Server shipments were seriously disrupted in the first quarter of 2020 due to lockdowns in China that stalled the upstream supply chain. The supply chain was back on track in the second quarter, with clients' robust orders pushing shipments to the peak of 2020.
Although server shipments have decelerated during the second half of the year, the global volumes are still expected to pick up 7% on year to surpass 16 million units in 2020 due to first-tier cloud computing service providers' keen order pull-ins, Chinese server brands' brisk shipments in response to the government's policies of expanding local cloud computing infrastructure, and a low comparison base in 2019.
The lingering pandemic is likely to continue undermining the global economy, and enterprises' spending on procurement of equipment such as servers is expected to weaken in 2021. However, as remote work and online shopping have become a new normal for consumers, demand for cloud computing services will continue to pick up in 2021.
With Intel and AMD set to make mass deployments of their new-generation CPUs in the first half of 2021, Digitimes Research expects a small wave of server replacement trend to take place, helping the global server shipments to achieve an annual growth of nearly 6% in 2021.