Server demand to slacken in back half of 2011

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Server demand to slacken in back half of 2011

Alex Scroxton

The global server market has reported its highest second quarter revenue in three years, according to the latest market statsitcs from IDC, but analysts have warned that the good times are not set to continue.

"Attention has already turned to the market outlook for the second half of the year. IDC believes that weakening macroeconomic conditions around the world will serve to moderate demand for new servers later this year," said IDC Enterprise Platforms group vice president Matt Eastwood.

Worldwide total factory revenues in Q2 grew 17.9% year-on-year to $13.2bn (£8.07bn) during the three months to the end of June. This marked the sixth consecutive quarter of year-on-year sales growth, and according to IDC extended across all three server classes, volume, midrange and high-end enterprise.

Unit shipments rose 8.5% over the same period last year to 2.1 million units, the second highest quarterly total ever reported in Q2, claimed IDC.

The market for non x86 servers, including RISC, EPIC (Itanium-based) and CISC processors grew 23.3% to $4.8bn, with System z servers posted 61.% year-on-year growth to $1.2bn, driven by new product introductions and demand for capacity within Big Blue's installed base. Linux servers also performed well with sales up 47.5% to $2.7bn, helped significantly by Fujitsu deployments in its native Japan.

The blade server market also turned in a solid performance with factory sales up 26.9% to $2bn and shipments up 6.2%, and x86 servers grew sales 15.1% to $8.4bn, while shipments rose 5.4%.

"X86 servers continue to drive the majority of the market, and x86 revenues are consistently outperforming unit growth on a quarterly basis," said IDC Enterprise Server Group senior analyst Reuben Miller.

"This market trend will continue as customers look at consolidating more workloads onto servers that aren't configured with increased memory attach rates and higher-priced processors to provide systems capable of improving performance and efficiency," he added.

There were few surprises when it came to the top-placed vendors; IBM and HP continued their sector dominance, accounting for 30.5% and 29.8% of the market respectively. Third-placed Dell took market share of 13.8%, while Oracle and Fujitsu rounded out the top five with 7.25 and 6.5% of the market.

Related Topics: Desktop PCs, VIEW ALL TOPICS

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