Hewlett-Packard continues to lead a global server market that saw some growth in shipments last year but an overall decline in revenues, due in part to the ongoing consolidation of x86 systems in data centers through virtualization, according to Gartner analysts.
In a Feb. 26 report, the analysts said that in the fourth quarter 2013, vendors shipped 3.2 percent more servers than they had in the same period in 2012. However, revenue fell 6.6 percent, being impacted by x86 server consolidation efforts and the growth in hyperscale computing environments, which tend to favor using huge numbers of smaller, less-expensive systems.
The fourth-quarter numbers were consistent with what the industry saw throughout the year, with shipments increasing 2.1 percent while revenue declined 4.5 percent.
"2013 presented some pronounced differences in various server market segments," Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement. "We've seen ongoing growth in Web-scale IT deployments, while the enterprise remained relatively constrained. In terms of hardware platform types, mainframe and RISC/Itanium Unix platform market performance kept overall revenue growth in check."
In the quarter, HP held 28.1 percent of the server revenue share, followed by IBM with 26.5 percent and Dell with 15.2 percent. Cisco Systems and Oracle rounded out the top five. In shipments, HP again was number one, with a 27.9 percent share of the market, followed by Dell with 19.5 percent and IBM with 9 percent. Huawei Technologies and Fujitsu were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Those rankings will change a bit by the end of the year, with IBM—which saw revenues fall 28.9 percent and shipments decline 20.6 percent in the quarter—last month having agreed to sell its low-end x86 server business to Lenovo for $2.3 billion.
Cisco saw the largest jump in server revenues, growing 34.5 percent on the strength of its Unified Computing System integrated solution, while HP's grew 6 percent. Along with IBM, Dell and Oracle also saw revenues fall. In shipments, Huawei, which is looking to expand its enterprise reach into the United States and other markets, saw its numbers jump 187.9 percent—though its numbers at 91,433 units were dwarfed by HP's 721,032. HP (8.7 percent) and Fujitsu (3.5 percent) also saw shipment numbers grow, while Dell (5.4 percent) joined IBM in seeing shipments fall.