December 8, 2010
The worldwide server market is up 13 or 14 percent, despite the recession, with x86 machines continuing to dominate.Both IDC and Gartner have come out with their quarterly figures on the server market, and both indicate that the recession is already a fading memory in that arena. IDC showed that unit ships were up 13.1 percent in the third quarter (year over year) while Gartner pegged growth at 14.2 percent.
The x86 market continued to be a major force, while the high end of the market slumped. In fact, IDC said it was the eighth consecutive quarter of high end market contraction. On the other hand, the blade market was doing well. Both agreed that HP remained the dominant vendor, with about a third of the market. HP was followed closely by IBM and at a distance by Dell, with Oracle (Sun), Fujitsu, and Others fighting for scraps. IDC additionally noted that Windows servers now represent 47.7 percent of vendor revenue, while the Linux share has grown to 17.5 percent. But the Unix share fell nearly 10 percent to 21.5 percent. Of course, with servers traditionally under-utilized, and virtualization often cutting the need for five-sixths of the installed base, it's no wonder that some segments saw a decline. The fact that the overall market is healthy is good for the buyers, since the vendors will continue to take the market seriously, and invest in upgrades. But you have to wonder if it will continue like this indefinitely, or it will suddenly hit the wall that the minicomputer makers hit in the 1980s after the users discovered client-server architecture. Time will tell.
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