Unix hasn't fared quite so well over the past year. Spending on Unix systems has dropped by 5.5 percent, according to IDC, as companies continued to defer system upgrades. However, that trend may be reversing. "The third quarter data shows that unit shipments in the midrange Unix server segment [$25,000 to $250,000] actually increased year over year, as did revenue for those servers," said Jean Bozman, research vice president for enterprise servers at IDC. "[T]his growth in midrange Unix servers is likely the result of workload consolidation from aging Unix servers -- and of IT build-outs for telco, banking, and government infrastructure in fast-growing economies worldwide."
Blades enjoy cut of x86 market
The blade market saw modest growth over the past year, with shipments increasing by 5.5 percent and factory revenue increasing 23.1 percent. Overall, blades servers -- including x86, EPIC (Itanium-based), and RISC blades -- accounted for $1.7 billion in revenues, representing 14.1 percent of quarterly server market revenue. More than 88 percent of all blade revenue is driven by x86 systems, according to IDC, and 18.9 of all x86 server revenue comes from blades.
"Blade systems represent a strategic element of server portfolios, as vendor utilize the platform as the foundation for converged solutions," said Jed Scaramella, research manager for enterprise servers at IDC. "Additionally vendors continue to expand their blade offerings to support more workloads, including extreme virtualized environments, scale-out deployments, and higher-end workloads."
Data demands drive storage growth
Storage vendors, too, have reaped the benefits of swelling troves of organizational data. The worldwide storage software market has seen an 8.7 percent revenue increase over the past year, and a 6.3 percent increase since last quarter, according to IDC.
"Customers continue to rearchitect their backup and recovery approaches in light of consolidation, ongoing data growth, and infrastructure changes with all three factors driving continued spending in data protection," said Laura DuBois, program vice president for storage software at IDC. "Archiving deployments are fueled by a combination of regulatory, legal, and IT efficiency motivations. Lastly, we are seeing increased spending on the infrastructure side as a result of interest in automated storage tiering."
EMC holds the largest chunk of the market, boasting 24.4 percent of the total revenue. The closest competitor is Symantec at 16.5 percent, followed by IBM at 13.4 percent, NetApp at 8.4 percent,.CA at 3.3 percent, and HP at 3.2 percent. NetApp, however, saw this most significant growth over the past year, a jump of 19.8 percent; EMC gained 13.9 percent. HP was the only company in the bunch to see a loss in this category, with revenue dropping 9.4 percent year over year.