HP tied with IBM for booming server market top sot

While HP might appear to be losing its marbles throwing in the towel in the PC, phone and tablet markets, its server business goes from strength to strength.

If, as some expect, it is to flog its PC business to Samsung and follow IBM’s footsteps, jumping ship from the server market isn’t going to happen.

And considering that, unlike the shaky PC market, the server industry as a whole appears to in very good nick it would be even more unfathomable. 

Factory revenue in the server market worldwide has increased 17.9 percent year on year to $13.2 billion in the second quarter, so it has seen impressive growth.

Despite the usual spiralling economic doom, this has been the sixth consecutive quarter of growth as demand continued to improve.

Unit shipments were up 8.5 percent year on year to 2.1 million units, making it the second highest quarterly total in the second quarter of any year.

This might not last long as the economic systems of various nations veer off the rails over the rest of this year.  But at the moment the server market is due a fair amount of backslapping.

There was improved performance in all classes of the server market.  Volume systems experienced a 16.6 percent year on year revenue increase, meaning positive growth for the seventh quarter in a row.

Midrange enterprise demand improved for the fourth time out of the past five quarters, notching up 16.7 percent year on year revenue growth.

At the high-end of the market revenue increased by 22.8 percent compared to the previous year.  Overall this meant that the second time out of three quarters that all three segments of the market saw positive results.

So within this booming market there were two firms vying for the top spot – IBM, and HP.  In terms of factory revenues the two were neck and neck with 30.5 percent and 29.8 percent respectively.

Of course if HP is to steal IBM’s crown it will have to try a bit harder than that. 

HP saw factory revenue growth up by 9.3 percent in the second quarter, based on sales of its x86-based ProLiant servers and blades.  This was dwarfed by IBM’s 24.5 percent increase with the popularity of System x, Power Systems, and System z.

The market for non-x86 servers was strong, with servers based RISC, EPIC and CISC processors increasing 23.3 percent over the year to $4.8 billion.

This was helped by the Unix server market, which saw a second consecutive quarter of growth, up 1.5 percent as compared to the second quarter of 2010. Then there are the IBM System z servers, which experienced massive revenue growth of 61.1 percent to $1.2 billion.

Linux demand increased for the seventh quarter in a row, with revenues up 47.5 percent to $2.7 billion compared to the same point last year.

Microsoft Windows server demand also showed positive results with revenues up 12.4 percent year on year.

Many customers had avoided splashing out on midrange or high-end servers because of the recession during 2009 and 2010, but the cash for upgrading servers has become available.

With more demand for “long deployed applications” and databases growing there has been a move to expand capacity, according to IDC analysts.

And with the move towards the cloud it is likely that this will boost revenues.

There is also growing demand from emerging markets such as Asia/Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

The blade market saw solid growth as factory revenue shot up by 26.9 percent year on year, accounting for $2.0 billion.  This represented 15.2 percent of the quarterly server market revenue.

This was mainly driven by x86 blades, accounting for 89 percent.  HP maintained its lead in this segment with 51.9 percent revenue share.

x86 server demand also enjoyed growth, yet again leading the market as revenues were up 15.1 percent to hit $8.4 billion.  Meanwhile unit shipments increased 5.4 percent to 1.9 million servers. 

HP led in this area with a 38.1 percent share, based on 14.4 percent growth.


Top 5 Corporate Family, Worldwide Server Systems Factory Revenue, Second Quarter of 2011

(Revenues are in Millions)

Vendor   2Q11   2Q11 Market   2Q10   2Q10   2Q11/2Q10
    Revenue   Share   Revenue   Market   Revenue
                Share   Growth
1. IBM   $4,008   30.5%   $3,219   28.9%   24.5%
1. HP   $3,922   29.8%   $3,589   32.2%   9.3%
3. Dell   $1,814   13.8%   $1,725   15.5%   5.1%
4. Oracle   $941   7.2%   $903   8.1%   4.2%
4. Fujitsu   $849   6.5%   $363   3.3%   133.6%
Others   $1,621   12.3%   $1,355   12.1%   19.7%
All Vendors   $13,156   100.0%   $11,154   100.0%   17.9%
IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, August 2011