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Server Shipments Up Despite Fears Of Economic Slowdown

Of the top five vendors, IBM continued to lead in terms of revenue with a 31.1% share.

Worldwide server shipments climbed 11% in the fourth quarter of last year and revenue was up nearly 3%, despite fears of an economic slowdown, a market research firm said Thursday. There was no change in the rankings of the top vendors.

For the full year, shipments increased 7.4% from 2006 to 8.8 million units, and revenue grew 3.8% to $54.8 billion, Gartner said. IBM continued to lead the market based on revenue, and Hewlett-Packard remained the leader in shipments.

"The server market did exhibit growth for the fourth quarter and for the year as a whole," Gartner researcher Jeffrey Hewitt said in a statement. "In fact, the fourth quarter climbed almost 11% in shipments and just under 3% in revenues, in spite of the fact that there have been concerns about a slowdown due to downturns in certain economic sectors of particular geographies."

Shipments of RISC-Itanium Unix servers fell by 13.8% last year, but revenue was up 1.7% for the year, Gartner said. Mainframes, however, showed an 11.8% revenue decline, which Hewitt attributed to a "slow period in the replacement cycle timing of this server class."

Blade servers continued on the fast track with revenue rising 44.5% and shipments rising 19.9% from 2006. HP led the market in shipments with a 41.7% share, followed by IBM, 30.9%. The two vendors combined dominate the market, accounting for almost 78% of worldwide blade revenue.

On the vendor side, IBM continued to lead in terms of revenue with a 31.1% share. The company posted an increase of 0.8% from the previous year. Gartner attributed the increase to 10.2% growth in System x and 9.1% growth in System p. System z and System i revenue both dropped 9.6% for the year.

Rounding out the top five vendors were HP, which had a 28.3% share; Dell, 11.4%; Sun Microsystems, 10.8%; and Fujitsu/FSC, 4.5%. Fujitsu was the only vendor in the top five to show a drop in revenue, while Dell had the most growth at 13.2%.

In terms of shipments, HP led with a 29.8% share, followed by Dell, 21.4%; IBM, 14.5%; Sun Microsystems, 3.8%; and Fujitsu/FSC, 3.3%. Of the top five, IBM and Sun were the only vendors to see a decline in shipments.

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