Server revenue increases for all except Oracle in Q3

Shipments of x86 servers worldwide grew 15 percent in the third quarter, but sales of Unix servers continued to slump

Gartner on Monday said worldwide server shipments and revenue went up during the third quarter, while sales for Unix servers based on the RISC and Itanium architectures continued to slip.

The research firm said that worldwide server shipments totaled 2.2 million in the third quarter, growing by 14.2 percent compared to last year's third quarter. Server revenue was $12.29 billion, up 15.3 percent year over year.

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Shipments of x86 servers went up 14.9 percent during the third quarter, while shipments of Unix servers based on the RISC (reduced instruction set computing) or Intel's Itanium architecture fell by 10.1 percent.

Revenue generated from x86 servers grew by 29.5 percent in the third quarter, while revenue from RISC or Itanium servers dropped year over year by 9.5 percent.

There was some demand for Unix servers in Asia-Pacific, Japan, and Latin America, but those increases could not offset declines in more mature markets, said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner.

"In emerging markets, the demand for new database and business intelligence platforms -- where Unix still remains a preference to many -- is fueling Unix server growth," Hewitt said.

The mature markets were more affected by the timing of replacement cycles, which are "somewhat dormant" at the moment, Hewitt said.

The x86-based server market received a boost from new server configurations to accommodate virtualization, while higher average selling prices helped boost revenue, Gartner said. Blade server growth was outpaced by rack-optimized servers, which increased by 23.7 percent during the quarter.

Server revenue increased for all major server vendors except Oracle, whose revenue dropped by 2.6 percent. Hewlett-Packard's server revenue was $3.94 billion, growing by 22.5 percent to take the top spot with a 32.1 percent market share. IBM was in second place, with revenue going up by 9.9 percent to $3.38 billion, and a 30.2 percent market share. Dell's revenue went up by 25.6 percent to $1.79 billion to take the third spot. Oracle was in the fourth spot with $764 million in server revenue.

HP also led in server shipments. The company shipped 715,481 servers, growing by 16.2 percent year over year with a 32.6 percent market share. Dell was in second place, shipping 501,593 units, growing by 14.7 percent, a 22.9 percent market share. IBM's shipments grew by 16.7 percent to 287,574 units, while Fujitsu and NEC were in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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