Cisco, HP run the cloud

Cisco and HP are the leading providers of infrastructure for public and private clouds, according to new research

“The cloud” can be an amorphous term, but underneath it all is compute, network and storage hardware. Which companies supply the most hardware that runs the cloud?

According to new figures from Synergy Research Group, Cisco is the leading arms dealer for hardware that runs public clouds and HP gear is the most prevalent hardware for private clouds. Both companies have maintained their leads in these categories and together they make up 27% of overall revenues.

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It’s important to remember what these numbers represent: It measures the hardware infrastructure that runs public and private clouds. It is not a measurement of overall market share of cloud services. (If it were, presumably Amazon Web Services would have the lead, at least for public cloud).

Providing infrastructure to build clouds is a hot market; Synergy estimates total revenues were $13 billion in 2014, a 9% growth over last year.

Cisco’s lead in the arms race is thanks to its dominance in the networking market, although Synergy says the company has a growing server business as well. HP’s lead is credited to its compute servers, with a lesser, but still prominent stake in storage and networking infrastructure.

Perhaps most surprising about the results are the drop by IBM. According to Synergy, IBM used to be the top provider of infrastructure for clouds, at more than 16% of the market. After it’s sale of Lenovo last year though the company has dropped to less than 8% of the market, below Cisco, HP, Microsoft and Dell.

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