Server Growth Continues, With IBM And HP In The Lead

Gartner and IDC both said server sales grew just under 5% to more than $12 billion in the first quarter of the year.
A rising tide of server sales lifted virtually all company boats as two market research firms reported that shipments of servers rose sharply in the first quarter. IBM and Hewlett-Packard are battling for the lead position.

Gartner said Tuesday that total sales rose 4.5% to $12.86 billion in the quarter, compared with sales a year earlier. Gartner said IBM led the category with $3.83 billion in sales for a gain of 8.4%.

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker found that the server market grew 4.9% to $12.4 million year over year. The market research firm said HP and IBM shared the first place position, with HP recording a market share of 29.2% and IBM recording 28.9%.

HP shipped 634,000 units. It showed strength in its ProLiant, Integrity, and BladeSystem operations. IBM's brightest spots were in its System x, System z, and System p businesses.

"The server market continues to experience solid growth as businesses of all types look to enhanced IT capabilities in order to help drive additional business efficiency, improved customer satisfaction, and accelerated revenue growth," said Matt Eastwood, program VP of Enterprise Platforms at IDC, in a statement. "It is becoming increasingly clear that the typical enterprise computing infrastructure will require additional investment in order to deliver on these objectives."

The standings were rounded out by Dell, which had $1.44 billion in sales for the quarter; Sun Microsystems, $1.33 billion; and Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens, $698 million. Gartner said IBM's Unix server sales were up 14.3% to $1.26 billion in sales, while Sun's Unix sales dropped to $1.17 billion, for a 1.5% decline.

IDC noted that Linux server revenue reached $1.6 billion, representing growth of 10%, which let the open source servers grab a 12.7% share of the market. Microsoft Windows led the operating system category, reaching $4.8 billion in sales in the quarter for a 10.4% growth over the previous year.

"This was the first quarter since IDC began tracking Linux server spending in 1998 that Windows server revenue has grown faster than Linux server revenue," IDC said. "Windows comprised 38.8% of all server revenue."