It was a photo finish for IBM and Hewlett-Packard in the first quarter.
The two IT giants finished the first quarter of 2008 in a statistical dead heat when it comes to calculating worldwide server revenue and market share, according to a May 27 analysis from IDC.
For the quarter, HP's worldwide server revenue totaled $3.77 billion, compared with IBM's $3.65 billion. IDC's research found that HP's market share stood at 29 percent, compared with Big Blue's 28.1 percent. Gartner released its own numbers May 22, which put HP ahead of IBM in system revenue and shipments.
Overall, the worldwide server market grew at a modest 3.5 percent in the first quarter, with a total of $13 billion in revenue. Systems shipments topped two million, an increase of 7.8 percent compared with the same time last year.
While the IDC report found that server sales were helped by companies looking to build out traditional data centers and cloud computing infrastructures, the market in the United States was the weakest due to the slowing economy. However, currency exchange rates helped boost revenue in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
During the quarter, HP was helped along with revenue from its x86-based ProLiant systems, its Unix Integrity products and its BladeSystem business. Within the overall $1.2 billion blade market, HP claimed a 46.9 percent market share, compared with IBM's 30 percent share. Worldwide blade revenue increased 9.2 percent.
IBM was helped byits System z mainframes, which grew 10.4 percent from the first quarter of 2007 for a total of $1.1 billion in revenue.
After HP and IBM, Dell was third with server revenues of $1.6 billion. However, the company's 9.4 percent growth in the quarter was the best among the big five vendors. Sun Microsystems lost 1.8 percent of its revenue share, and its revenue for the quarter totaled $1.4 billion. Fujitsu/Fujitsu-Siemens saw its revenue climb 7.8 percent for a total of $821 million.
In the first quarter, revenue from Microsoft Windows-based servers increased 4.2 percent for a total of $5.1 billion, while Linux server revenue increased 8.4 percent to $1.8 billion. Revenue from Unix servers declined less than 1 percent but totaled about $4 billion in revenues.
The revenue from those servers based on x86 processors grew 4.4 percent-the slowest growth rate in nearly two years-for a total of $7 billion. The market for non-x86 servers-RISC, EPIC and CISC-increased 2.5 percent for a total of $6 billion.