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Gartner: Mainframe RISC Unix Servers Decline

By Vangie Beal (Send Email)
Posted March 1, 2012


According to Gartner, server shipments in Asia Pacific grew 15.7 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2011 (revenues increased 2.4 percent from the same quarter last year), however, server market performance in Australia was generally weaker across all server platforms, finishing 10 percent lower year-on-year in shipments and down 39 percent in revenue.

"Asia Pacific was the fastest growing region for server shipments during the fourth quarter of 2011, with China as the main growth engine, supported by the continued momentum of data center built out," said Gartner principal analyst Erica Gadjuli. "Most major economies in Asia Pacific performed better than the rest of the world, which encouraged IT spending during 2011."

During the fourth quarter, the x86 server market in Asia Pacific continued similar positive sales trends as observed in the previous quarter, despite some issues with hard-disk drive (HDD) inventory shortage because of the Thailand floods in October 2011.

According to Gartner, revenue from x86 servers grew 18 percent year-on-year, and shipments were up 17 percent. The x86-based server sales represented 98 percent of total shipments in Q4 of 2011 whilst revenue share increased to account for 67 percent in this quarter, compared to 58 percent in Q4 2010 and 62 percent in the previous quarter. The strength of this segment was driven by enterprise buying preferences favoring richer configurations of rack optimized and blade servers.

The mainframe platform and RISC / IA64 Unix servers saw revenues decline by 56 percent and 5 percent respectively, after positive performances in the previous three quarters of 2011. Furthermore, there was a global weakness in RISC/Itanium Unix servers shipments.

Consistent growth of x86 servers in Korea continued in this quarter and helped the overall server shipment volume to grow 16 percent but revenue declined 9 percent with the lack of contribution from other server platforms, namely mainframe, RISC, and Itanium based servers.

"Server shipments to China were up 27 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 and revenue increased 17 percent year on year. For the same quarter, server shipped to Hong Kong increased 34 percent year-on-year, but revenue fell at 6 percent rate. On the other hand, the server market in Taiwan ended weaker than in Q4 2010, in both shipments and revenue, as they declined 14 percent and 5 percent respectively," said Gartner.

Singapore, as one of the mature markets in this region, had server shipments decline 6 percent during the fourth quarter and revenue was also down 7 percent year on year. In Malaysia, revenue from all server categories by CPU type except mainframe class servers declined year-on-year, which also led to a slowdown of 6 percent in overall revenue in Q4 2011 compared to Q4 2010.

Lastly, server market performance in Australia was generally weaker across all server platforms, finishing 10 percent lower year-on-year in shipments and 39 percent in revenue. "In this region, blade server revenue continued to grow the fastest compared to other form factors," Gadjuli said.

"IBM led the server market in revenue terms, maintaining its 40 percent market share in 2011 with the company successfully growing its revenue from Power System servers (RISC based) and System x (x86 based) in the double digits. Dell has steadily gained ground in both revenue and shipments for the past five years in Asia Pacific, thanks to the growing demand for the two and four socket blades and rack servers," said Gartner.

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