Global Server Market Accelerates Sharply
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The Global Server market increased by 13.2 percent year on year in the third quarter of 2010.

According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, the market has now increased for three consecutive quarters and the last three months saw the fastest growth in a decade.

The market is now worth $11.8 billion (AU $12.08 billion).

Volume systems experienced the sharpest improvement with year on year revenue increasing 22.8 percent, the fourth consecutive quarter of positive growth for the segment. Midrange server demand also improved significantly with year on year growth of 19.8 percent, the segment’s second consecutive quarter of positive growth following nine quarters of decline. This ia a sign that server market conditions are improving more broadly beyond volume systems.

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However, demand for high-end enterprise systems continued to be soft. Eight consecutive quarters of contraction in the high-end enterprise server segment showed a slide of 10.4 percent this quarter compared to the third quarter of 2009.

Matt Eastwood, group vice president, Enterprise Platforms at IDC, said: “The server market experienced its strongest growth in 10 years in the third quarter of 2010. All geographic regions exhibited positive growth for the second consecutive quarter as the infrastructure build-out and refresh extends across SMB, enterprise, public sector, and cloud/hoster organisations. While much of the third quarter refresh occurred in x86 and CISC-based mainframes, IDC expects the recovery to extend to Unix platforms in the fourth quarter of 2010.”

Overall, HP assumed the top spot in the worldwide server market with 33.4 percent factory revenue share for the third quarter. HP increased revenue 22.2 percent year on year and gained 2.5 points of share from a year ago. HP’s growth was led by strong demand for its x86 ProLiant servers during the quarter.

IBM held the number 2 spot with 30.6 percent share for the quarter as factory revenue increased 9.0 percent compared to 3Q ’09. Although IBM continued to experience weakness in its Power Systems business, System z demand improved following the recent zEnterprise product refresh cycle coupled with a continued strength in demand for the x86-based System x servers during the quarter.


Dell maintained third place with 14.1 percent factory revenue market share. Dell gained 0.7 points of share year on year on 18.7 percent revenue growth driven by demand from enterprise and SMB customers.

Oracle maintained fourth position in the worldwide server market, achieving 6.7 percent market share.

Fujitsu, which rounded out the top five vendors, experienced a 2.5 percent increase in factory revenue, holding 5.1 percent revenue share.

Among the Top Servers, market findings showed that Microsoft Windows server demand was positively impacted by the accelerating x86 server market. Quarterly revenue of $5.6 billion for Windows servers represented 47.7 percent of overall quarterly factory revenue.

Unix servers revenue declined to $2.5 billion. Unix server share of worldwide server spending was down 5.5 points over 3Q09 as many customers continue to defer Unix system upgrades.

“The Unix server market continued to see worldwide revenue decline, driven by reduced unit shipments in the high end and volume segments, and by intense competition between the top vendors that is eroding average sales prices for many models,” said Jean S. Bozman, research vice president, Enterprise Servers at IDC.

“However, 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. This 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.”