Server market grows after years of stagnant sales

IBM holds the top spot in server market share, followed by HP, according to new figures from IDC

The server market is taking off again after three years of slowing growth, according to research firm, IDC.

According to IDC's quarterly report, the server market grew 6.3 per cent year-over-year to $US13.1 billion for the second quarter of 2007. The firm attributes this growth to users refreshing the servers used in their data centers and to expanded distributed-workload deployments.

Servers priced at under $US25,000 sustained the largest growth -- at 11 per cent year-over-year -- while growth of midrange enterprise servers (costing $US25,000 to $US499,000) grew by 0.2 per cent, and high-end enterprise servers (costing more than $US500,000) showed a 1.7 per cent increase.

IBM led the server market with a 31 per cent revenue share, followed by HP with a market share of more than 28 per cent. Sales of IBM's System x, System z and System p servers accounted for the majority of the company's server revenue, while HP's growth could be attributed to ProLiant and BladeSystem servers, IDC said. IBM mainframes running the z/OS operating system accounted for 9.5 per cent of all server revenue in the second quarter.

Sun's server revenue grew 5.6 per cent year-over-year; the company is the No. 3 player with 13.1 per cent of the market. Dell, which showed more than a 20 per cent revenue growth in x86 servers, follows Sun.

On the operating system front, Linux servers represented 13.6 per cent of server revenue. Microsoft Windows accounted for 38.2 per cent of server revenue, and Unix system revenue was 31.7 per cent of the market.

In x86-based servers, HP led the market with a market share of more than 35 per cent, followed by Dell with more than 22 per cent, then IBM with a 17.5 per cent share.

The blade-server market also soared, with revenue growing 36.7 per cent year-over-year. Blade servers accounted for $US875 million, or 6.5 per cent of the server market. HP held more than 47 per cent of the blade-server market, followed by IBM with 32.3 per cent.

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