Global Server Revenues Decline in 1Q12

by Sean Michael Kerner

The latest global server reports are out from both IDC and Gartner, and despite a few bright spots, overall the news isn't good.

The worldwide server market is in a state of revenue decline, according to a pair of reports out this week from analyst firms IDC and Gartner. While vendors are making less money, they are shipping more servers, though the actual numbers vary depending on which analyst firm you ask.

Gartner reported that for the first quarter of 2012, global server revenues declined by 1.8 percent on a year-over-year basis to $12.4 billion. IDC reported a steeper decline of 2.4 percent, with revenues at $11.8 billion.

In terms of actual server shipments, Gartner reported that worldwide server shipments grew 1.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012, while IDC reported 2.7 percent growth in server shipments.Server Market

The decline in the overall server market is not uniform across all server segments. The x86 server market is a bright spot. Gartner reported that x86 server revenues grew by 5.6 percent on unit growth of 1.7 percent. IDC reported x86 server revenue growth of 4.5 percent on unit growth of 3.2 percent.

The big declines came from RISC/Itanium Unix servers during the quarter. Gartner reported that there was a 15.2 percent decline in revenue and a 5.7 percent decline in shipments. IDC reported RISC/Itanium server revenues declined by 16.1 percent. According to IDC, non-x86 servers have now fallen to the lowest level ever tracked by IDC, coming in at only 28.5 percent of the global server market.

"The Unix server refresh has largely ended, as the Unix server market is in decline again, driven by workload consolidation and migration to competing platforms," said Kuba Stolarski, research manager, Enterprise Servers at IDC in a statement. "Recent heightened awareness of the future of Itanium is also pressing down on customer demand for non-x86 servers, and price competition is helping to drive down revenues in this segment."

Vendor Share

The question of which vendor leads the server market is one that varies based on the analyst report. According to Gartner, IBM holds the lead in terms of server revenues, coming in at $3.5 billion for a 28.1 percent share. Gartner has HP in second place by revenue, holding a 27.8 percent share.

IDC, however, flips Gartner's rankings and has HP in the top spot with a 29.3 percent share and IBM in second with a 27.3 percent market share by revenue. Both IBM and HP had year-over-year revenue declines, though, with HP losing nearly 10 percent and IBM shedding 7 percent.

In terms of server shipments, Gartner has HP in the top slot, followed by Dell in second and IBM in third. All three of the top shipping server vendors shipped fewer servers in the first quarter on a year-over-year basis. In Gartner's top five list of server shipments from vendors, Fujitsu shipped 12.7 percent more servers and Cisco exploded with a 70.9 percent server shipment growth year-over-year.

Chart: Total WW Server Market, 1Q 2012, Vendor Market Share (Factory Revenue)Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, May 30, 2012. Note: IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker provides, in over 70 countries, quarterly market size and vendor shipments by units, factory revenue, and customer revenue for more than 20 server segmentations including OS, price band, server class, CPU type, form factor, U-rating, processor brand, socket capability, core count, and more. Forecast data is provided by CPU, form factor, socket capability, OS, and price band. For more information, or to subscribe to the research, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 1-650-350-6423 or knagamine@idc.com. Further detail about this tracker can be found at:http://www.idc.com/tracker/showproductinfo.jsp?prod_id=7Tags: IDC, Tracker, Server, Servers, IBM, HP, Dell, Fujitsu, Oracle, Vendor, ...Author: IDCcharts powered by iCharts


Form Factors

When it comes to form factors, blades are taking the lead in terms of growth. According to Gartner, blade server revenues grew by 5.6 percent while shipments fell by 1.3 percent. IDC sees the market a bit differently, with blade server revenue growth of 7.3 percent on shipment growth of 4.8 percent.

Blades now represent 21.3 percent of all x86 server revenues according to IDC.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Follow ServerWatch on Twitter and on Facebook

This article was originally published on Thursday May 31st 2012
Mobile Site | Full Site