The stagnant server market has heated up over the last few years, due in no small part to the advent of “white box” server vendors grabbing an increasing share of the cloud business.

Enterprises have been reluctant to follow the lead of hyperscale data center vendors to off-brand server competitors, largely because of a lack of enterprise-grade service and maintenance options. But the economics are compelling.

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“White box” is a reference to the off-brand PCs built by independent PC vendors, which used to dot the landscape and appeal to buyers who built their own PCs with a plain beige tower and no vendor label on the box. In the server market, “white box” refers to vendors that are not the big three: Dell EMC, HP Enterprise and Lenovo.

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