Global growth of networking, server and storage infrastructure shipments slowed in the first quarter of this year due to escalating trade tensions, according to Canalys.
Shipment growth slowed to 4.8 per cent in the quarter, with total market value hitting $38.8bn.
The analyst house attributed this decline in growth to hyperscalers spending less on capital expenditure, along with ongoing weakness in service provider spending, an end to the mainframe refresh cycle and smaller expansion in enterprise server and storage sales.
Canalys warned that the fallout from escalating trade disputes will start to affect global trade and economic performance, causing the outlook for the rest of 2019 to be "uncertain".
Despite this it forecast that worldwide infrastructure shipments would grow 6.4 per cent in 2019.
"The IT infrastructure growth was always going to be slower this year, as maintaining the high rates recorded in the last six quarters was not sustainable," said principal analyst Matthew Ball.
"The longer the US-China trade war goes on, the more of an impact it will have on economies and business investment.
"Confidence is starting to decline around the world, with central banks prepared to inject stimulus measures if the situation worsens."
Server shipments slowed the most out of the three segments in Q1, growing 3.7 per cent compared to 39 per cent in the same period last year.
"Vendors have become accustomed to high double-digit percentage growth rates over the last 18 months, fuelled by rising ASPs, due to server refresh, component price rises and demand for higher configurations to support more computer-intensive workloads," stated Ball.
"But this is cooling with ASPs starting to stabilise and unit shipments falling.
"Server refresh is still ongoing in businesses, but greater emphasis is being placed on integrating multi-cloud services while existing on-premises resources as part of hybrid-IT strategies and simplifying operations."
All-flash arrays and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) remain key investment areas for customers, according to the analyst firm, though storage shipment growth slowed in Q1 to 4.6 per cent, compared to 19.8 per cent for the same period last year.
Networking was the only segment to improve on 2018's figure, with an increase of 6.5 per cent. This was due to a refresh in campus networks a transition to wi-fi 6 gaining traction, Canalys stated.
It also fingered SD-WAN as an emerging key growth opportunity as businesses start to optimise and secure access to cloud-based services.
The market leaders for Q1 were Cisco, Dell EMC and HPE, who cumulatively accounted for over 50 per cent of total shipments.
Cisco dominated in the networking market, while Dell EMC made further gains in the channel in servers and storage.
Huawei ranked fourth with 7.3 per cent of the market, but it is facing the "biggest supply chain challenges" among the vendors due to ongoing issues with the US government.
Some say performance, others say money but it may be systems and processes that carry the day
Japanese vendor sells product development, manufacturing and logistics base in Bavaria to S&T subsidiary, Kontron
'MSPs are all scared to death. They don't want end users asking, what am I paying you for?' - Datto CEO
Tim Weller tells CPI that he sees MSPs struggling to update how they package and deliver security, and opens up on what he makes of MSPs trying to rebrand as MSSPs
In its Q4 results, Microsoft reveals its cloud unit is now its biggest business segment