IBM saw its server revenue numbers surge in the second quarter, bringing Big Blue into a statistical tie for first place in the global server market, according to IDC.
IBM, fueled by a 24.5 percent jump in
revenues, moved into a statistical tie with Hewlett-Packard as the world's top
server vendor, according to second-quarter market numbers from market research
IBM saw growth in all segments,
including a 61.1 percent jump in revenue-to $1.2 billion-from its System z
mainframe business over the same period in 2010, IDC analysts said in their
report released Aug. 23. Big Blue also saw growth in its System x and Power
IBM edged HP, grabbing 30.5 percent
market share in the quarter, compared with HP's 29.8 percent, which IDC
analysts called a statistical tie. For its part, HP server revenues grew 9.3
percent, driven in large part by "solid demand" for its x86-based ProLiant
systems, both traditional servers and blades, IDC analysts said.
Rounding out the top five were Dell in
third place, with 13.8 percent market share on 5.1 percent revenue
growth-thanks to demand from SMBs-and Oracle and Fujitsu tied for fourth, with
7.2 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively, according to IDC. Oracle's revenue
jumped 4.2 percent over the second quarter in 2010, fueled by growing demand
for x86-based Exadata database systems. Meanwhile, Fujitsu revenues rose 133.6
percent due to the massive K-computer high-performance computing (HPC) system
The vendors' numbers were part of a
larger trend that saw worldwide server revenues grow 17.9 percent, to $13.2
billion, with shipments rising 8.5 percent to 2.1 million units. The growth was
across all segments-volume, midrange and high-end system-with demand for
mainframes, Unix, Linux and Windows servers all rising.
New Unix systems from IBM, HP and
Oracle helped fuel the growth, as did new mainframe systems from IBM. Jean
Bozman, research vice president for enterprise servers at IDC, said that
another driver was businesses refreshing their server environments after
holding off from making purchases during the recession and slow recovery.
Enterprises need the extra horsepower of the new systems, Bozman said in an
interview with eWEEK.
"You can only hold off for so long,"
All that came despite an uncertain
global economy, though that could impact server demand in the coming months,
according to Matt Eastwood, group vice president of enterprise platforms at
"This was the fifth consecutive quarter
with double-digit year-over-year revenue growth as the market recovery
continued to extend from x86 servers to midrange Unix to high-end mainframe
class systems," Eastwood said in a statement. "While 2Q11 was an exceptionally
strong quarter, 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
IBM officials touted the 15 percent
growth in their Unix systems in the second quarter, gaining almost 6 percent at
a time when both HP and Oracle lost share. HP and Oracle have been locked in a
dispute over Oracle's decision to end support for Intel's Itanium platform,
which powers most of HP's high-end servers, including its Integrity and NonStop
HP officials earlier this month blamed Oracle as a key reason for a 9 percent
drop in its high-end server business. At the same time, analysts had predicted
that the HP-Oracle struggle would benefit IBM. IBM officials said that in the
second quarter, Big Blue won 253 customers from Oracle and another 248 from HP.
However, HP pointed to the strong
demand for its ProLiant systems as the key to its continued leadership in the
fast-growing x86-based server market.
"As the demands on data centers
increase, more customers are turning to HP ProLiant servers to capitalize on
performance, power and productivity efficiencies," said Jim Ganthier, vice
president of worldwide marketing for HP's Industry Standard Servers and
Software business. "HP has led the worldwide x86 server market for the past 61
quarters, and we continue to enhance our product and systems portfolio with
unique innovations to enable customers to maximize every dollar, watt, hour and
square foot in their data centers."