HP continues to lead accounting for 29.8% of the server market
Worldwide server shipments in the second quarter (2Q) of 2011 grew 8% year on year, while revenue moved upward 19.5% year on year, according to Gartner.
The market research firm said that from a geographic standpoint, the Asia/Pacific region grew the most in shipments with a 25.6% increase. Japan posted the highest vendor revenue growth at 59.5% for the period.
All of the top five global vendors had revenue increases for 2Q 2011.
HP continued to lead the worldwide server market based on revenue, posting over $3.9bn in server vendor revenue, and accounting for 29.8% of the server market based on revenue. However, this share was down 2.2% points year on year, said Gartner.
Gartner research vice-president Jeffrey Hewitt said the second quarter produced solid growth on a yearly basis, as the recovery that started in 2010 continues to eke out slow improvements.
"All regions showed yearly growth in both shipments and vendor revenue, although in both measures the market is again below the pre-downturn levels we saw in the corresponding quarter of 2008," Hewitt said.
"x86 servers forged ahead and grew 8.4 percent in units for the quarter and 17.7 percent in revenue. RISC/Itanium Unix servers declined 8.5 percent in shipments but showed a revenue increase of 4.3 percent compared with the same quarter last year. The ‘other’ CPU category, which is primarily mainframes, showed a strong growth of 48.8 percent."
In server shipments, HP remained the worldwide leader in the second quarter of 2011 with a year-on-year shipment increase of 11.7%. HP’s worldwide server shipment share was 30.8%, representing a 1.0 percentage-point increase in share from the same quarter in 2010, said Gartner.
The firm added that among the top five vendors in server shipments worldwide, all but Dell posted increases in units for 2Q 2011.
In terms of x86-based server form factors, blade servers rose 8.2% in shipments and 29.5% in revenues for the quarter.
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), server shipments surpassed 611,000 units in the quarter, an increase of 5% from the same period last year. Server revenue totaled $3.69bn in 2Q, a growth of 15.2% from the same quarter last year.
"Against a backdrop of ongoing economic concerns, the server market continues to recover across the EMEA regions," said Gartner research director Adrian O’Connell.
"Revenue growth outpacing shipment growth shows the strength in some high-end platforms which, having longer sales cycles, have taken longer to return to growth mode."
Gartner said that 2Q 2011 saw revenue growth in all the key segments.
While X86 systems grew by 16.2% in the quarter, the "Other" CPU category, largely driven by the IBM System Z platform, grew by 36.2% and RISC/Itanium Unix systems, while also growing, only managed a year-on-year growth rate of 2.1%, said Gartner.
O’Connell said, "As we have cautioned before, current growth rates may look positive but in absolute terms the market remains quite some way below the levels that we saw prior to the downturn. Total server revenue across EMEA is only just over three quarters of the level that it was in the second quarter of 2008. The RISC/Itanium Unix and Other CPU systems are even worse – both around 50 percent of those pre-downturn levels. With that in mind, and the ongoing economic concerns, there is a real need for vendors to focus on driving competitive wins to maximize the available market opportunity, particularly in these non-x86 segments."
"The Unix market continues to be squeezed between x86 and mainframe platforms. IBM is currently the best-performing vendor in this highly consolidated segment with both Oracle and HP struggling to improve business results," said O’Connell.