According to the International Data Corp. (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker, total end-user spending on IT infrastructure products (server, enterprise storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud environments, including public and private cloud, recovered in the fourth quarter of 2019 (4Q19) after two consecutive quarters of decline.
The 12.4% year-over-year growth in 4Q19 yielded $19.4 billion in spending. The fourth-quarter results also brought the full year into positive territory with annual growth of 2.1% and total spending of $66.8 billion for 2019.
Meanwhile, the overall IT infrastructure market continued to struggle after its strong performance in 2018, up 3.3% to $38.1 billion in 4Q19 but declining 1.1% to $134.4 billion for the full year. Non-cloud IT infrastructure fell 4.6% to $18.7 billion for the quarter and declined 4.1% to $67.7 billion for the year.
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In 4Q19, growth in spending on cloud IT infrastructure was driven by the public cloud segment, which grew 14.5% year over year to $13.3 billion; private cloud grew 8.2% to $6.1 billion. As the overall segment is generally trending up, it tends to be more volatile at the quarterly level as a significant part of the public cloud IT segment is represented by a few hyperscale service providers. After a weaker middle part of the year, the public cloud ended 2019 barely up 0.1% to $45.2 billion. Private cloud grew in 2019 by 6.6% to $21.6 billion.
As investments in cloud IT infrastructure continue to increase, with some swings up and down in the quarterly intervals, the IT infrastructure industry is approaching the point where spending on cloud IT infrastructure consistently surpasses spending on non-cloud IT infrastructure. The fourth quarter of 2019 marked the third consecutive quarter of cloud IT leadership with the annual share just slightly below the midpoint (49.7%). From here on out, IDC expects cloud IT infrastructure will stay above 50% of the IT Infrastructure market at both the quarterly and annual levels, reaching 60.5% annually in 2024.
Across the three IT infrastructure technology domains, storage platforms saw the fastest year-over-year growth in 4Q19 at 15.1% with spending reaching $6.6 billion. Compute platforms grew 14.5% year over year with $10.8 billion in spending while Ethernet switches declined 3.9% to $2.0 billion. For the full year 2019, Ethernet switches led with year-over-year growth of 5.0% and $8.2 billion in spending, followed by storage platforms with 1.9% growth and spending of $23.1 billion, and compute platforms with the growth of 1.5% and spending of $35.5 billion.