IBM and Hewlett-Packard once again topped Gartner's quarterly survey of the worldwide server market. IBM took top honors when it came to revenue in the second quarter of 2008, and HP shipped more systems than IBM and Dell did.
The latest survey, released Aug. 21, showed that despite the downturn in the U.S. economy, server sales continued to grow at a modest pace. In the second quarter of 2008, worldwide server revenue topped $13.8 billion, an increase of 5.7 percent from the $13 billion revenue seen in the second quarter of 2007. Shipments increased more than 12 percent for a total of more than 2.3 million units.
While the economy remains a concern, the Gartner report found that companies continued to replace and refresh their x86 server fleets, and more and more enterprises are investing in and building out large-scale data centers to support new types of Web 2.0 businesses and applications. These large-scale data centers are also the base for the new cloud computing infrastructures that companies such as IBM, Amazon and Google are continuing to build.
"The most significant driver in the quarter continued to be an upswing in x86 server replacements that started in the first quarter," Jeffrey Hewitt, a Gartner analyst, said in a statement. "This, coupled with Web data center build outs and growth in emerging markets, produced solid Q2 results."
For the quarter, IBM's server revenue topped $4.3 billion, an increase of more than 11 percent compared to a year ago. During the quarter, IBM benefited from sales of the System z mainframe, which the company upgraded earlier this year, and its Power systems line. Earlier this year, IBM combined its System p and System i offerings into one Unix server product line.
After IBM, HP followed on the top 5 list with revenues of $3.8 billion. Dell, which has been working to refresh and update its line of servers, saw its revenues jump 15 percent for a total of nearly $1.8 billion. Sun Microsystems watched its revenues drop more than 6 percent for a total of $1.6 billion. Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens had revenues of $492 million.
In terms of shipments, HP's shipments of its ProLiant, Integrity and NonStop systems totaled more than 706,000 units for the second quarter, an increase of 8.7 percent from the second quarter of 2007. In the blade server portion of the market, HP's shipments increased 3.6 percent.
Dell's server shipments shot up 24 percent year over year for a total of more than 550,000 units.
IBM's shipments increased a modest 4.7 percent for a total of about 308,000. Sun shipped more than 96,000 units, an increase of about 1.6 percent, and shipments of Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens servers increased more than 3 percent for a total of 61,000 units.
While shipments and revenues from x86 servers helped drive the market, Gartner found that shipments of RISC/Itanium Unix servers fell 7.9 percent, and their revenues increased 9.4 percent during the quarter.