Gartner Says Worldwide Server Shipments Grew 7 Per Cent; Revenue Increased 5 Per Cent in the Third Quarter of 2011

(PresseBox) (Stamford, Conn, ) Worldwide server shipments in the third quarter of 2011 grew 7.2 per cent year-on-year, while revenue increased 5.2 per cent year-on-year, according to Gartner, Inc.

"The third quarter of 2011 produced growth on a global level but there was some significant variation in growth by region," said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner. "All regions showed growth in both shipments and vendor revenue except for Western Europe which posted a 4.9 per cent decline in revenue for the period. Asia/Pacific grew the most significantly in shipments with a 23.9 per cent increase. Eastern Europe posted the highest vendor revenue growth at 27.4 per cent for the period."

"x86 servers forged ahead and grew 7.6 per cent in units and 9.3 per cent in revenue. Some regions like Western Europe and the United States did not produce as much relative x86-based server growth because of comparatively stronger third quarter results in 2010. RISC/Itanium Worldwide Unix server shipments declined 6.8 per cent, but vendor revenue increased 3.5 per cent compared to the same quarter last year. The 'other' CPU category, which is primarily mainframes, showed a decline of 6.9 per cent," Mr Hewitt said.

All of the top five global vendors had revenue increases for the third quarter of 2011 except HP and Oracle. HP declined 3.6 per cent year-on-year and Oracle achieved flat growth. IBM took the lead in the worldwide server market based on revenue (see Table 1) - the company posted just over $3.8 billion in server vendor revenue for a total share of 29.7 per cent for the third quarter of 2011. This share was down 0.5 per cent year-on-year. Most of IBM's revenue growth came from its Power Systems line with some contribution by System X as well.

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), server shipments exceeded 606,300 units in the third quarter of 2011, an increase of 4.3 per cent from the same period last year. Server revenue totalled $3.25 billion, a decline of 0.5 per cent from last year (see Table 3).

"The market's recovery faltered this quarter as challenging economic conditions in Western Europe dragged down spending levels for the overall EMEA region," said Adrian O'Connell, research director at Gartner. "The third quarter of 2011 marked three years since the start of the downturn, and despite a relative recovery during the last few quarters, both volume and revenue remained lower than in the third quarter of 2008. Growth in Eastern Europe and Middle East and Africa has not been enough to offset some real challenges in Western Europe, which recorded a decline of 4.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2011."

The quarter saw mixed results in the key segments: x86 system revenue grew 6.5 per cent, the 'other' CPU category declined 26.0 per cent, and RISC/Itanium Unix systems declined 8.2 per cent.

"The x86-based segment managed to exhibit growth, but after a strong replacement cycle both the 'other CPU' and RISC/Itanium UNIX segments continued to decline. Vendors reliant on these segments will face increasing challenges as the combination of a weak economic environment and platform migrations will continue to exert pressure," said Mr O'Connell.

In the RISC/Itanium Unix segment, IBM consolidated its lead with an 11 per cent increase in revenue year-on-year, while Oracle grew 1.9 per cent and HP declined 28.7 per cent. "EMEA has been one of the regions with a relatively strong RISC/Itanium Unix base, however the performance of this segment is increasingly challenged by migration activity to other platforms. We forecast single-digit growth for both revenue and shipments next quarter," said Mr O'Connell.

In the third quarter of 2011 only two of the top five vendors, Dell and Oracle, achieved revenue growth, compared with the equivalent quarter of 2010. HP held the No. 1 position, but its revenue declined 5.4 per cent year-on-year. IBM, ranked No. 2, declined 10.1 per cent year-on-year, the weakest performance of the top five vendors. Considering Dell's exposure to the public sector, it performed well. Oracle's growth demonstrated the success it is having with its new server platforms.

In server shipments, HP maintained the No. 1 position (see Table 4). However, Dell's strong performance closed the gap with HP, and Dell was the only top-five vendor to increase its market share year-on-year.

Additional information is available to subscribers of Gartner's Servers Quarterly Statistics Worldwide programme. This programme provides worldwide market size and share data by vendor revenue and unit shipments. Segments include: region, vendor, vendor brand, sub brand, CPU type, CPU group, Max CPU, platform, price band, operating systems and distribution channels.
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