Server Sales on the Rise

Server revenue stats for 2003 from Gartner and IDC revealed a server market that continues to improve. Strong performances from IBM, Dell, and HP revive what had been a sluggish server market for the past few years.

Server revenue stats for 2003 from Gartner and IDC show a server market that continues to rebound. IBM was the big winner, while Linux continues to build momentum.

Highlights from the survey results, which were more alike than different, put IBM back in the top spot and noted Linux as the fastest growing server segment.

Among the minor differences between the numbers from the research firms was total revenue. IDC reported server sales rising to $13.7 billion. Gartner pegged them at $13.4 billion. But both studies iterated server sales showed growth during the past three consecutive quarters. And all major categories grew, for the first time since 2001, according to IDC.

In terms of overall performance, IBM snagged the top spot in both surveys. Gartner reported that Big Blue's revenue grew by $1 billion to total $14.8 billion, a 10-percent increase. Overall, IBM's total server market share grew 1.7 percentage point to 32 percent.

IDC had IBM with 37.9 percent market share and a growth rate of 17.7 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2002. IDC noted that this growth was partially driven by a 33 percent jump in its OS/390 unit.

HP and Dell Rise While Sun Sinks Further
HP's steady performance earned the vendor a second-place spot from both Gartner and IDC. According to Gartner, revenue improved 5 percent from $11.9 billion to $12.5 billion. IDC reported HP had a 25.8 percent share, with revenue growth of 9.4 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2002.

Whether you go by Gartner's 22 percent or IDC's 19 percent revenue growth, Dell had the most explosive growth of any vendor. However, its nearly $4 billion in sales accounts for only 8.6 percent of the server marks, leaving it the smallest of the top four server vendors.

Amid this sea of gains, Sun, embattled on several fronts by tough competition and what analysts report as questionable business decisions, declined in the both surveys. In IDC's study it dropped 1.7 percent to a 10.4 percent revenue share. Based on Gartner's findings, it dropped 15 percent for the same period. The vendor saw its market share dip from 14.6 percent to 11.8 percent over the same period.

Continued on Page 2: Server Sales by Operating Systems

This article was originally published on Mar 12, 2004
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