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.
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.
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
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
Continued From Page 1
Server Sales Broken Down by Operating Systems
Gartner also broke down vendor results for Intel-, Unix-, and Linux-based
servers. While still billions behind mainstay Unix and Intel
machines in sales, Linux-based system sales experienced volcanic growth, as
many analysts had predicted.
In the past few years, HP, IBM, and Dell after investing billions in marketing
and research and development to bring products to market have proven that Linux can be
viable in enterprise computing space after investing billions in marketing
and research and development to bring products to market. Customers have begun
to believe the fanfare and are buying systems based on the open-source
operating system at a prodigious clip.
According to Gartner, IBM and HP tied for a 60 percent growth in Linux
system sales. However, HP enjoyed the most success in this sector with
system revenue growing from $581 million to $927 million from 2002 to 2003.
IBM grew from $345 million to $552 million year-over-year.
Dell, on the strength of its Microsoft Windows-based systems, led the way with 22 percent
sales growth for Intel-based systems. IBM and HP followed with 21 percent
and 17 percent growth, respectively. Overall, HP continued to dominate this segment
with a nearly 34 percent share.
IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker reported similar findings. It
showed a 63.1 percent year-over-year growth for Linux servers, generating
$960 million for the industry in the last three months of the year.
The results show "that Linux servers are taking on important roles in IT
customers' computing infrastructure," Jean S. Bozman, an IDC research vice
president, said in a statement. "What began with edge and Web-centric
workloads is branching out to include [high-performance computing] and
The IDC report also shows significant gains in the x86 server market,
with revenue up 15 percent and unit shipments up 23 percent. Windows OS
servers continue to grow as well. IDC said Windows servers accounted for
31.7 percent of quarterly server market revenue or $3.9 billion in the
Unix servers sales, which many analysts believe are being cannibalized by
the explosive Linux system growth, posted the least success in both surveys.
Although Unix holds fast as the most prevalent and highest revenue
generating server technology. IDC said the lumbering OS giant posted its
first year-over-year growth in 11 quarters with revenue growth of 0.8
percent to $5.1 billion for the quarter. Gartner reported Sun and HP saw
sales for these machines dip 16 and 4 percent, respectively. IBM, however,
bucked the trend saw a 13 percent revenue increase for its pSeries servers.
Two stories that originally ran on internetnews.com. were used in this report.