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Cloud infrastructure spending grows to $73.9 billion in 2021 — IDC

Based on the latest data from the International Data Corp. spending on compute and storage infrastructure products for cloud infrastructure increased 13.5% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2021 (4Q21) to $21.1 billion. This contributed to the full year of cloud infrastructure spending of $73.9 billion, up 8.8% over 2020.

Cloud infrastructure includes dedicated and shared environments.

According to IDC, “this marked the second consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth as supply chain constraints have depleted vendor inventories over the past several quarters. As backlogs continue to grow, pent-up demand bodes well for future growth as long as the economy stays healthy, and supply catches up to demand.”

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Non-cloud infrastructure posted its fourth consecutive growth in 4Q21 with spending reaching $17.2 billion or a growth of 1.5% year over year. For the full year, spending increased by 4.2% over 2020, reaching a total of $59.6 billion.

On-premise cloud infrastructure

Spending on shared cloud infrastructure reached $14.4 billion in the fourth quarter, increasing 13.9% compared to a year ago, and grew to $51.4 billion for 2021, an increase of 7.5%. IDC expects to see continued strong demand for shared cloud infrastructure with spending expected to surpass non-cloud infrastructure spending in 2022. Spending on dedicated cloud infrastructure increased 12.5% year over year in 4Q21 to $6.7 billion and grew 11.8% to $22.5 billion for the full year 2021. Of the total dedicated cloud infrastructure, 47.5% in 4Q21 and 46.1% in 2021 were deployed on customer premises.

For 2022, IDC is forecasting cloud infrastructure spending to grow 21.7% compared to 2021 to $90 billion, while non-cloud infrastructure is expected to decline slightly, down 0.3% to $59.4 billion. Shared cloud infrastructure spending is expected to grow 25.5% year over year to $64.5 billion for the full year. Spending on dedicated cloud infrastructure is expected to grow 13.1% to $25.4 billion in 2022.

As part of the Tracker, IDC tracks various categories of service providers and how much compute and storage infrastructure these service providers purchase, including both cloud and non-cloud infrastructure. The service provider category includes cloud service providers, digital service providers, communications service providers, and managed service providers.

Storage infrastructure

In 4Q21, service providers as a group spent $21.2 billion on compute and storage infrastructure, up 11.6% from 4Q20. This spending accounted for 55.4% of total compute and storage infrastructure spending. For 2021, spending by service providers reached $75.1 billion on 8.5% year-over-year growth, accounting for 56.2% of total compute and storage infrastructure spending. IDC expects compute and storage spending by service providers to reach $89.1 billion in 2022, growing at 18.7% year over year.

At the regional level, year-over-year spending on cloud infrastructure in 4Q21 increased in most regions. Asia Pacific (excluding Japan and China) (APeJC) grew the most at 59.5% year over year.

IDC expects spending on compute and storage cloud infrastructure to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.6% over the 2021-2026 forecast period, reaching $133.7 billion in 2026 and accounting for 68.6% of total compute and storage infrastructure spend. Shared cloud infrastructure will account for 72% of the total cloud amount, growing at a 13.4% CAGR. Spending on dedicated cloud infrastructure will grow at a CAGR of 10.7%. Spending on non-cloud infrastructure will flatten out at a CAGR of 0.5%, reaching $61.2 billion in 2026. Spending by service providers on compute and storage infrastructure is expected to grow at a 11.7% CAGR, reaching $130.6 billion in 2026.