Server Market: Overview, Features, Benefits and Best Providers

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The server market is the backbone of countless mission-critical and client-side corporate computing processes, as it powers data centers and supports cloud environments. 

The demand for higher-performing servers continues to ramp up, as enterprises seek to power big data and advanced workload requirements. 

See below to learn all about the server market, from the hardware to providers:

Table of Contents 

Projected Growth in Server Market 

Global server revenue declined 2.5% in Q2 of 2021, compared to 2020, according to IDC. However, global server shipments increased from the past year. The 2Q21 server revenue was $23.6 billion.

Experts expect that the global server market will grow from 2021 to 2028: Grandview Research predicts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8% over the period. 2021 market size is $85.75 billion; Grandview forecasts a $145.31 billion value for 2028.

The server microprocessor market’s CAGR is expected to be 2% from 2021 to 2026, with Mordor Intelligence saying it should reach $17.89 billion by 2026, rising from $15.19 billion. 

Server Form Factors

Rack Servers

Rack servers are versatile and can run alone. They’re stacked vertically to conserve data center space. They can also be hot swapped, assuming data is shared or clustered for redundancy.

Racks with many servers installed closely together require high cooling levels and therefore, higher energy consumption. In cases of changing temperatures, they can also overheat. 

Rack-mount servers can be installed at a network’s edge too. Vendors like Steatite offer high-density edge servers with features such as hot swapping and Intel Xeon multi-core CPUs. Some edge server nodes also work in pairs for redundancy, which decreases the risk of dropping workloads. 

Also Read: Top Rack Servers

Blade Servers

Blade servers are highly compact, capable of handling high-performance workloads. Each blade of the server is a circuit board with its own processor, network controllers, and I/O ports. 

They take up even less space than rack servers. Blades are small, and many of them can fit into relatively small areas in a data center. A host chassis powers multiple blades at once, which conserves energy.

Because blade servers are so compact, they’re prone to overheating. To maximize blade servers’ capabilities, a data center must have sufficient cooling methods.

Also Read: Best Blade Servers

Tower Servers

Tower servers are designed to be highly customizable. Users can design them to serve multiple functions, including as web and network servers. Each tower server requires its own input devices, rather than sharing them among other servers. 

Tower servers take up space in data centers and don’t fit in traditional racks. Within data centers, their input devices can also be difficult to manage, because each server requires its own switches and cables. 


Mainframes are enormous computers that can handle heavy workloads. 

They differ from traditional rack and other commodity servers in both their size and their programming: Mainframes often run dedicated operating systems that don’t exist on other servers. However, some, like IBM mainframes, run common operating systems too.

Characteristics of mainframes include high redundancy for the sake of resiliency and support for heavy I/O transactions.


Microservers are often used to serve web content or perform database processing and data analytics. However, they are less useful for multi-purpose computing needs, since they serve very specific roles.

Because so many microservers can fit within one rack, microserver architectures preserve energy and consume less power. This is also due to server circuit design.  

Modular Servers

Modular servers belong to modular infrastructure, an approach to data center technology that allows enterprises to create modules based on compute, networking, and storage needs. It also includes software management features.

Modular server environments define the degree to which infrastructure resources have direct access to other resources. Modularity is a form of disaggregation — making infrastructure resources independent of each other, while still allowing them to work together. 

Read More: Blade Servers vs. Rack Servers vs. Tower Servers

Benefits of Server Forms

Server Type Advantages
Rack servers
  • Conserve data center space by stacking vertically
  • Can be hot swapped
Blade servers
  • Greatly conserve space
  • Can handle high-performance workloads
Tower servers
  • Highly customizable
  • Easier to cool
  • Capable of handling many transactions at a time without faltering in performance
  • Secure
  • Take up little space
  • Energy efficient
  • Good for specific computing tasks
Modular servers
  • Permits resources to be separated based on enterprise needs
  • Increase efficiency because resources are designated more accurately

Server Use Cases

HPE’s BladeSystem, for blade servers, conserves data center space and provides remote access, according to a senior systems analyst in the finance industry. “Servers take up little space in the datacenter. Network connections can be made with fewer cables… Remote access can be made directly to the servers,” they wrote in a Gartner Peer Insights review of BladeSystem. The ability to easily connect high-performance servers to a network is important in large data centers, a necessity for ideal data transfer.

Solutions like Dell EMC’s PowerEdge FX combine benefits of multiple server types. The FX chassis uses modular infrastructure, with a management console for storage, networking, and compute management. 

“By buying DellEMC PowerEdge FX servers you will get the best of both rack server and blade server world,” a deputy manager in finance said in Gartner Peer Insights. “It is a all-in-one solution that combines compute-storage-network in a single box… it is durable and dense.” PowerEdge FX includes advantages of multiple server types. 

Server Manufacturers

Here are some of the top vendors in the server market:

  • Dell
  • HPE
  • Lenovo
  • Cisco
  • IBM
  • Inspur
  • Huawei
  • Fujitsu
  • Intel
  • Oracle
Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps is a staff writer for Enterprise Storage Forum and eSecurity Planet, where she covers data storage, cybersecurity and the top software and hardware solutions in the storage industry. She’s also written about containerization and data management. Previously, she wrote for Webopedia. Jenna has a bachelor's degree in writing and lives in middle Tennessee.

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