HPC Server Market Declined 11.6% in 2009, Return to Growth Expected in 2010, According to IDC
IBM took the lead in the Supercomputer segment with 45% market share and, compared to the prior year, IBM's revenue in this segment was up 37%. The growth was fueled by both IBM's traditional focus on the high-end of the market and the resilience of this particular segment to the overall economic conditions. HP maintained its leadership position in the sub-$500K market with 33% revenue share, although its revenue in this segment was down 32% year over year. The drop in sales in this part of the market was mainly caused by cuts in customers' discretionary spending during the recession.
"Factory revenue for the high performance computing (HPC) technical server market declined by 11.6% in 2009 to $8.6 billion, down from $9.7 billion in 2008, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide High-Performance Technical Server QView. Unit shipments dropped 40% year over year during the recession year. IBM and HP ended the year in a statistical tie* with 29.3% and 28.6% of overall factory revenue market share respectively. "A bright spot was the "Supercomputers" segment for HPC systems priced at $500,000 and up, which grew by 25% to reach $3.4 billion during the difficult year. Fueled by multiple transactions in the $100 million range, the top bracket in this segment, for HPC systems priced above $3 million, grew even faster, expanding by a whopping 65% to reach $1.0 billion. At the other end of the price spectrum, revenue from "Workgroup" HPC systems priced below $100,000 slid 33% to $1.7 billion as buyers delayed or canceled some planned acquisitions in this segment that is characterized by purchases based on shorter sales cycles and more discretionary spending." IDC expects the HPC technical server market to begin recovering from the impact of the global economic recession in early-2010, with year-over-year growth projected at 5% to 7%