China props up APAC server market

Asia Pacific server shipments grew 15.7 percent for the fourth quarter of 2011, becoming the fastest growing region for shipments with a boom in China. Revenues grew 2.4 percent year on year.

According to Gartner, increased demand in China made it the “main growth engine” thanks to the sheer volume and momentum of data centres. Throughout Asia, the majority outperformed the rest of the world for 2011.

x86 servers remained successful in the region, which managed to fly in the face of difficulties coming from the flooding in Thailand. Revenues for x86 servers swelled 18 percent compared to the previous year, while shipments grew 17 percent. Of all servers shipped for the quarter, x86 sales made up the vast majority at 98 percent, however, revenue share was 67 percent. This is still up from 58 percent at the same time in 2010, and an increase from 62 percent in the third quarter.

Enterprise buyers preferred x86 by far, enjoying, as Gartner describes it, richer configurations of rack optimised and blade servers. RISC and IA64 Unix server revenues were down by 56 percent and five percent, despite relative optimism earlier in the year.  Gartner notes that there was a global weakness to Itanium server shipments, which is in line with critics of the Itanic, who say it has a use in business but is limited to a core, niche group of customers. As we have said, it’s just about above water, but the lifeboats are manned.

IBM was the largest vendor by far, taking the lion’s share of the market at 40.3 percent. HP followed, then Dell, Oracle, and Lenovo. For shipments, Dell topped the list with an estimated 23.9 percent of the market, only just outpacing HP which was at 23.3 percent. They were followed by IBM, Lenovo, and Inspur Electronics.

Revenues in China saw a hefty 17 percent hike year on year while shipments were up at 27 percent. Hong Kong did receive shipment growth of 34 percent, however, revenues declined at six percent. Shipments to Taiwan were down 14 percent while revenues were weaker by five percent from the same quarter last year. Shipments grew in Korea, by 16 percent, but revenues were down by nine percent. Australia’s performance was poor, at 10 percent lower in shipments and down 39 percent in revenues.