Server market is blooming doing well

International Data Corporation’s (IDC) latest quarterly server tracker report is out and it’s showing positive news for server shipment growth. It’s the second consecutive quarter that there has been year-on-year revenue growth, increasing 11 percent to $10.9 billion in Q2 2010. There has also been a return to the good old days with the fastest revenue growth in the market since 2003.

Market demand is on the agenda, here. It’s strong – server unit shipments increased 23.8 percent for the quarter year on year, matching and slightly improving on the 23 percent shipment growth reported in the first quarter of the year. Volume systems have been doing particularly well, enjoying a third consecutive quarter of growth at a 31.7 percent increase. 

Midrange server demand is also on the up with year-on-year growth of 15.6 percent, which is the first positive growth it has seen over nine quarters. Conversely high end enterprise systems continued to bite the bullet, revenue declining 27.2 percent – the seventh consecutive quarter of decline the market segment took since the global recession blew up. 

Top dog in server markets is Hewlett-Packard. It managed to topple rivals like IBM and Dell, increasing revenue 26 percent year on year and grabbing 3.9 points of share from a year ago. Its factory revenue share for Q2 2010 was 32.5 percent. HP’s continued success story was driven by huge demand for its x86 ProLiant servers over the quarter. Have you Hurd of them?

IBM took a hit with its Power Systems and System z servers as customers were after the latest and greatest, not old hat – but the company still maintained its number two spot with a 29.8 percent share. Factory revenue decreased 3.2 percent year-on-year. However, people were still after its x86 System x servers.

Third place was held, again, by Dell. It had 15.3 percent factory revenue market share and gained 2.9 points of share year on year. Its revenue growth improved with a strong and sturdy 36.5 percent thanks to its enterprise customers. Oracle kept its number four spot in worldwide servers, but revenue actually declined 5.9 percent year on year, and had 8.6 percent of the market. Fujitsu trailed in at number five but enjoyed a small increase in factory revenue year on year, 7.9 percent. It held a 3.4 percent share in the quarter.

Both Windows and Linux server demand improved in the quarter. Windows demand was helped along the way by x86 doing well, hardware revenues increasing 6.7 percent and unit shipments increasing 28.2 percent year on year. Windows servers managed quarterly revenue of $5 billion, making up 46.5 percent of overall factory revenue in the quarter.

Linux server demand grew 30.1 percent, year on year, to $1.8 billion, meaning it is creeping up the share charts with 16.8 percent of all server revenue. That’s 2.5 points up on the same quarter last year. Unix however fell 7.3 percent in revenue compared to last year as customers kept cautious on buying, waiting instead for details of the IBM Power7 processor backed Power Systems servers. They’ve also been holding out for HP’s Integrity, based on Intel Itanium chips. Revenues for Unix servers were at $2.9 billion, making for 26.3 percent of quarterly spending. It’s down a humongous 52 points from the same time last year but is better than its results for the first quarter of this year, up 3.9 points. 

Servers that were based on RISC, EPIC and CISC, as well as all other servers not going with x86, unsurprisingly declined 16 percent in the market making for $3.9 billion in the quarter. They’ve been doing badly since x86 reared its head, totally outperformed in the market over the last five quarters. However IDC reckons that with the completition of product refresh cycles there will be an increased drive for server demand on non-x86 systems in the midrange and high-end.

x86 server revenues rocketed in the quarter, growing 35.3 percent to make $7 billion worldwide. Unit shipments enjoyed a 25.8 percent increase, the final figure being about 1.8 million servers for the quarter. HP, as expected led the x86 market with the lion’s share – 39.2 percent all in. Dell was second with x86 followed by IBM holding 23.9 percent and 16.7 percent respectively of the share.

More have been picking up blade servers, too – both factory revenue increased 40.3 percent and shipment growth increased 13.6 percent year on year. Of the quarterly server market revenue, bladed servers accounted for $1.6 billion, or 15 percent. Blade systems and x86 go hand in hand, with over 80 percent of blade revenue driven by x86.

Spokesman for IDC and group vice president of enterprise platforms Matt Eastwood said: “The server market is at a crossroads. This is the fourth consecutive quarter of improving server market demand and the fastest quarterly server revenue growth IDC has reported in more than five years.

“IDC continues to see widespread infrastructure refresh occurring across all geographies. While much of this refresh is occurring first in x86-based servers, IDC expects the recovery to extend to Unix and mainframe platforms in the second half of 2010. That said, it is clear that a wave of migration is also occurring as customers broaden their deployment of x86-based servers to a wider range of workloads.”