The increasing use of cable management will play a role in this year’s market uptick for racks and enclosures that house data center infrastructure, according to a report recently published by IHS. “IT Racks and Enclosures Report – 2015” analyzes the Americas, Europe-Middle East-Africa, and Asia, including data such as unit shipments, average unit prices, and revenues. Revenues for 2013 and 2014 are estimated, and 2015 through 2018 are forecast.
“Global unit shipments of IT racks and enclosures are forecast to grow 2.9 percent in 2015, accompanied by 4.4-percent revenue growth,” IHS said when announcing the study’s availability. The firm added, “Overall data center infrastructure growth has been lethargic over the past two years due to a combination of factors including global economic weakness, IT equipment improvements, outsourcing and consolidation, and competitive pressure. Growth in the IT rack and enclosure market is slightly stronger than the forecast growth of other data center infrastructure products like uninterruptible power supplies [UPS] and cooling equipment, but weaker than that of the rack PDU market.
“While rack PDU growth is driven by product shifts toward higher-priced intelligent PDUs leading to higher replacement rates, most other data center infrastructure equipment, including IT racks and enclosures, is not replaced nearly as often and is, therefore largely dependent on new data center construction.”
Sarah McElroy, IHS analyst, commented, “The IT rack and enclosure market typically experiences higher growth rates than the UPS and cooling markets because of the slight product shifts occurring—from two-post to four-post, from four-post to enclosures, and from basic racks to premium racks.” IHS said the increased use of cable management, as well as passive airflow accessories, also contribute to the market growth.
“Enclosures continue to dominate the market, accounting for 86 percent of units shipped in 2014,” IHS continued. “They have a higher price point than open-frame racks and have a number of benefits over open-frame, including enhanced airflow-management capabilities, better cable-management options, more stability, security, and even aesthetic appeal. Enclosures are expected to continue seeing more growth than open-frame racks. After enclosures, accessories are the second-fastest-growing segment of this market in revenue terms, which is justified considering the benefits they add to overall efficiency.”