Global server market stays strong

Factory revenue in the worldwide server market rose by 12.1 percent year-on-year, raking in $11.9 billion in the first quarter of 2011.

According to International Data Corporation figures, this marks the fifth consecutive quarter of  year-on-year  revenue growth as server market demand continues to improve around the world.

Unit shipments increased 2.5 percent year-on-year in the first quarter to top 1.9 million units. IDC says that’s the second highest quarterly total ever reported in the first calendar quarter of any year.

All server classes, including volume, midrange enterprise, and high-end enterprise all raked in the profits.

Volume systems gained an increase of 8.7 percent year-on-year,  while midrange enterprise demand improved for the third time in the past four quarters, with a sharp 28.3 percent revenue increase.

Over in the high-end enterprise camp, improving market conditions led to a quarterly revenue rise of 14.2 percent compared to the same quarter in 2010.

It’s gold stars all round, with IDC claiming that this is the first time in eight quarters that all three segments of the server market have experienced a year-on-year revenue increase in the same quarter.

According to the analysts, the high figures showed that market recovery extended from x86 servers to midrange Unix to high-end mainframe class systems for the first time in nearly three years. 

HP topped the charts with a huge 31.5 percent factory revenue share, 10.8 percent revenue growth from 2010. Improved demand for both x86-based ProLiant servers and Itanium-based Integrity servers was to thank.

Coming in at second place was IBM with a 29.2 percent share for the quarter, with a factory revenue increase of 22.1 percent compared to the same time last year.

To top off its success IBM was also said to have “experienced significant improvement” for its Power Systems, while demand for System z servers and x86-based System x servers also remained strong.

Third place was given to Dell, which maintained 15.6 percent of the factory revenue market, driven by strong demand from SMB customers.

Oracle, which completed the one-year anniversary of its Sun Microsystems acquisition on 27 January, lingered in fourth place with a 6.5 percent factory revenue share in the quarter.

Bringing up the rear was Fujitsu with a 4.8 percent factory revenue share following a 15.6 percent  year-on-year  decline in server revenue.

The market for non-x86 servers, including servers based on RISC, EPIC (Itanium-based), and CISC processors, increased 12.3 percent over the year to $4.0 billion

Non-x86 server revenue also grew as a result of improved demand for Unix servers and IBM System z platforms.

In fact, Unix demand was so high, that the market experienced the first quarter showing yearly factory revenue improvement in 11 quarters, growing 12.5 percent when compared to this time last year. Gaining from this growth was IBM, HP, and Oracle.

IBM’s System z servers running z/OS brought in the bucks with a revenue growth of 41.1 percent to $1.0 billion. This was a total of 8.8 percent of quarterly server revenue worldwide and the third consecutive quarter that z/OS system revenue hit $1 billion.

Linux saw server demand increase for the sixth consecutive quarter, with revenue growing 16.6 percent to $2.0 billion.

Microsoft Windows server demand also continued to show strong demand as Windows-based hardware revenue increased 10.1 percent  year-on-year. Quarterly revenue of $5.8 billion for Windows servers represented 48.5 percent of overall quarterly factory revenue and 75.2 percent of all quarterly server shipments.

The blade market was buoyant with factory revenue increasing 23.8 percent year-on-year and shipment growth increasing by 5.4 percent compared to this time last year.

Overall, bladed servers, including x86, EPIC, and RISC blades, accounted for $1.8 billion in revenues, representing 15.2 percent of quarterly server market revenue. Demand for x86 servers continued to improve too, with revenues growing 12 percent in the quarter to $7.9 billion worldwide. Unit shipments increased 2.6 percent to 1.9 million servers.

HP led the way with a 37.7 percent revenue share based on 11.6 percent growth, while Dell came in second with a 23.5 percent revenue share.