The server market is still growing, albeit not in all server classes, according to the latest third quarter 2015 server revenue reports from analyst firms Gartner and IDC.
According to IDC, third quarter global server revenue came in at $13.4 billion, for a 5.1 percent year-over-year gain. Gartner reported global server revenues at $13.5 billion, which in their model is a 7.5 percent year-over-year gain.
In terms of server shipments, IDC reported global unit volume of 2.49 million units, for a 4.5 percent year-over-year gain. Gartner reported unit shipment year-over-year growth of 9.2 percent to 2.8 million units.
According to both analyst firms, x86 systems continue to be the driver of growth.
"x86 servers managed to produce growth of 9.2 percent in shipments and 9.7 percent in revenue year-over-year," Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner, states. "RISC/Itanium Unix server revenue declined 11.5 percent in the third quarter, while shipments grew 1.1 percent."
IDC reported a 5.5 percent decline year-over-year for non-x86 server revenues. That said, IBM's z13 mainframe is helping IBM's non-x86 growth, with System Z growth of 15 percent year-over-year.
Forward-looking prospects for x86 are also very positive thanks to the expected push from the impending end-of-life date for Microsoft SQL Server 2005.
"Looking forward, IDC sees modest opportunities for short-term market growth related to the upcoming Microsoft SQL Server 2005 end of support on April 16, 2016," Kuba Stolarski, Research Director, Servers and Emerging Technologies at IDC, said in a statement. "We estimate there are approximately 800,000 servers globally still running SQL Server 2005. In the longer term, IDC expects server market growth to be driven by software-defined, disaggregated systems and network edge-deployed Internet of Things (IoT) compute."
From a vendor perspective, both analyst firms have Hewlett Packard as the top vendor by revenue as well as volume.