Cisco Systems and Fujitsu were among the few bright spots in a worldwide server market that saw shipments increase slightly in the first quarter while revenues fell, according to market research firms IDC and Gartner.
Analysts from both firms pointed to anticipated upgrades in x86 systems based on Intel's new Xeon E5 processors, launched in March -- as a key contributing factor in the quarterly numbers, with businesses holding off on purchases until the new servers became available. In addition, the strong server numbers from 2011 made the numbers in the first quarter this year look especially weak in comparison, they said.
For the quarter, IDC said in a May 30 report that global server revenues fell 2.4 percent, to $11.8 billion marking the second consecutive quarter of revenue decline -- while shipments rose 2.7 percent, to 2 million units. Gartner's numbers were similar, with revenues falling 1.8 percent, to $12.4 billion, and shipments growing 1.5 percent, to 2.3 billion units.
In shipments, the top three vendors -- Hewlett-Packard, Dell and IBM -- all saw declines in comparison with the first quarter in 2011, according to IDC. However, both Fujitsu -- at No. 4 -- and fifth-place Cisco saw shipments increase, with Cisco's shipments jumping 70.9 percent, from 23,690 units to 40,498, according to Gartner. Cisco joined the server crowd in 2009, when it launched the Unified Computing System (UCS), a converged data center solution that includes not only Cisco networking technology, but also Cisco-branded servers.
Regarding revenues, IDC and Gartner said the top four vendors -- HP, IBM, Dell and Oracle -- saw declines in the quarter. Only Fujitsu, at No. 5, had revenue growth, jumping 7.3 percent. Gartner had Fujitsu's revenue growth at 4.5 percent. Gartner analysts said HP saw revenue declines in both its x86-based ProLiant and Itanium-based Integrity lines.
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