HP Was Top Server Vendor in Q3: Gartner

HP in the third quarter led a growing server market that was fueled in large part by jumps in x86-based systems, according to Gartner.

Hewlett-Packard was the world's top server vendor in the third quarter as x86-based systems continued to drive growth in the space, according to market research firm Gartner.

In a report issued Nov. 29, HP garnered 32.1 percent of the revenue market share-generating in more than $3.9 billion during those three months-and shipped more than 715,000 systems, giving it 32.6 percent of the market. IBM was in second place in revenue gain, followed by Dell. Dell was No. 2 in shipments, followed by IBM.

Fujitsu was in fourth in both revenues and shipments, while Oracle-after its acquisition of Sun Microsystems-was fifth in revenues, and NEC was fifth in shipments.

Unsurprisingly, it was the increasing adoption of industry-standard x86 systems that helped drive the overall growth of the server space, according to Gartner analyst Jeffrey Hewitt. The industry shipped 14.9 percent more x86 servers than it did during the third quarter in 2009, and generated 29.5 percent more in revenues, according to Gartner.

"As in the first half of this year, x86-based servers were the main driver of the market," Hewitt said in a statement. "Also following earlier trends, the x86-based server market provided an increase in average selling prices from more robust server configurations to accommodate virtualization; these higher average selling prices pushed revenue higher than shipments, and this was the case in the third quarter for all regions."

The mainframe market-which primarily comprises IBM's System z portfolio, although other companies like Unisys also sell mainframes-also added to the overall revenue increase, showing growth of about 9.9 percent. However, the high-end server space-essentially the RISC systems from the likes of IBM and the servers powered by Intel's Itanium processors-continued to struggle, with declines of 10.1 percent in shipments and 9.5 percent in revenue over the same period last year.

HP is by far the largest vendor of systems based on the Itanium chips, which power the OEM's Integrity line of high-end servers.

Overall, the worldwide server market saw shipments jump 14.2 percent in the third quarter, and revenue increase 15.3 percent. During those three months, vendors shipped almost 2.2 million servers and generated almost $12.3 billion in revenues.

"The third quarter produced some solid year-over-year growth globally in both shipments and vendor revenue," Hewitt said. "All regions showed growth in both shipments and vendor revenue, save one. The Middle East and Africa fell 2.9 percent in vendor revenue in spite of shipment growth of 4.2 percent for the quarter.'"

Blade servers continued their strong growth, with a 7 percent increase in shipments and 26 percent increase in revenues. However, rack servers outpaced blade servers, with shipments jumping 23.7 percent and revenues growing 31.2 percent.