Sales in value of servers, storage solutions and network equipment by IT wholesalers experienced very different trends last year in Europe. Undercut by a 15% decline in the fourth quarter, the first are the only ones to have fallen over 12 months, precisely by 4.4%, according to Context. This decline is certainly not spectacular, but it comes when server market revenues had already fallen by 15% in 2020 and 9% in 2019 on the continent. The research firm sees in this the effects of underlying trends such as migration to hybrid cloud infrastructures and the ever-increasing role of software in data centers.

Also affected by the general context of component shortages and the entry into force of new restrictions linked to Covid-19, the storage solutions market also ended 2021 down (-4.2% in value in Q4). But its performance in previous quarters was good enough to have enabled it to grow 4.6% over the year as a whole. Annual sales of storage arrays and hyperconverged systems grew by 5.1% and 5.3% respectively.

+13% annual growth for wireless networks

The network equipment market, for its part, shows a growth in value of 5.9% over the whole of 2021, including an increase of 13% for wireless products alone. It is the one that resisted the best in the fourth quarter with a very limited decline of 0.5%. In addition, “the turnover for the last quarter of 2021 is actually quite high. It only moved into negative territory because of a comparison with the fourth quarter of 2020 in which business investment had picked up following the end of the first wave of Covid-19”, explains Gurvan Meyer, analyst at Context.