While some segments of IBM's vast products and services portfolio are not growing lately, that's not an issue when it comes to servers and mainframes.
IBM reported its third quarter fiscal 2018 financial results on Oct. 16, with total revenue coming in at $18.8 billion, for a two percent year-over-year decline. Net income was reported at $2.7 billion, for a one percent decline from the third quarter of 2017.
Looking at specific units, IBM reported that its Technology Services and Cloud Platforms unit, which includes infrastructure services, technical support services and integration software, had revenue of $8.3 billion, down two percent.
In contrast, IBM's Systems group, which includes systems hardware and operating systems software, reported revenues of $1.7 billion, up one percent, driven by growth in Power and IBM Z.
"Our IBM z revenue grew, despite a wrap on the new mainframe launch, resulting in what is now the most successful Z program in our history," Jim Kavanaugh, SVP and CFO, said during IBM's earnings call.
Kavanaugh added that in the third quarter of 2018, IBM z mainframe revenue grew by six percent year-over-year. Among the reasons for the z14’s success is pervasive encryption, which Kavanaugh said is a capability that continues to be a key differentiator in the mainframe marketplace.
"For instance, governments are selecting z14 to protect sensitive data, including a large U.S. government agency this quarter," he said. "The z14 adoption spans many industries and countries, and we added new clients to the platform again this quarter, including several new clients to our new z14 designed specifically for cloud environments."
IBM's Power servers are also growing, with Kavanaugh stating that revenue was up by double digits for the quarter, driven by strong growth in Linux and the new POWER9-based architecture.
"In the third quarter, we released our next-generation POWER9 processors for mid-range and high-end systems, and we’ve seen strong adoption," he said. "These systems are designed for handling advanced analytics, cloud environments, and data intensive workloads in AI, HANA and UNIX markets."
In August, IBM announced its new E950 and E980 POWER9-based server systems. The E980 is a 5U server system with up to sixteen sockets and 192 cores of POWER9 performance.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.