Hewlett-Packard and IBM remained No. 1 and 2 in server revenue during the first quarter, with revenue gains fueled in part by growing demand for high-end non-x86 systems, according to market research firm IDC.
In figures released May 24, IDC analysts noted that while the x86 server market continued its steady revenue growth, non-industry-standard systems--including RISC, EPIC (based on Intel's Itanium processor) and CICS--also saw significant increases in revenue, giving further boost to not only HP and IBM, but also Oracle, which passed the one-year anniversary of its $7.9 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems and its SPARC/Solaris hardware portfolio.
Revenue for non-x86 servers jumped 12.3 percent over the same period last year, to $4 billion, marking the second consecutive quarter of growth for the space and the first time in two years that revenue in the market grew faster than the overall server space, according to IDC analysts. The growth was driven in large part by greater demand for Unix servers and IBM's System z mainframe systems.
"The Unix server marketplace is seeing new market dynamics centered on technology refresh for mission-critical workloads, a new provider in Oracle, and a new product set across all of the top 4 Unix server vendors," Jean Bozman, research vice president of enterprise servers at IDC, said in a statement. "This segment was hard-hit in 2009 and 2010 during the economic downturn as customers deferred or delayed acquisition of midrange and high-end Unix servers. There is also continuing competition for enterprise workloads with non-Unix platforms. However, as IDC projected, there has been a return to growth in this segment in 2011, as customers' servers are being refreshed to carry forward Unix-specific, mission-critical workloads."
That was illustrated by the numbers. For Unix servers, Q1 was the first quarter in the past 11 quarters to show year-on-year revenue growth, increasing 12.5 percent over the same period last year. IBM, HP and Oracle all saw improvements in their Unix server revenue numbers, with worldwide Unix revenues growing to $2.6 billion and representing 21.8 percent of all quarterly server revenue. Meanwhile, revenue for IBM's System z servers running z/OS grew for the third consecutive quarter, jumping 41.1 percent over the first quarter in 2010, to $1 billion. It represents 8.8 percent of overall server revenue.
Overall server revenue worldwide jumped 12.1 percent over the same period last year, growing to $11.9 billion in the quarter. It was the fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth in the space. In addition, server unit shipments also grew, increasing 2.5 percent to 1.9 million units. That is the second highest first-quarter total ever reported, according to IDC analysts.
For more, read the eWEEK article: HP, IBM See Boost in Demand for Unix Servers, Mainframes: IDC.
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