IBM tops worldwide server shipments growth

Despite economic constraints, worldwide server shipments for the second quarter of 2008 increased 12.2 per cent. Vendors' revenue from server sales for the same period rose 5.7 per cent, according to figures from Gartner

The report found that worldwide server revenue totalled 7.4 million ($13.8 billion) for the same period, with worldwide server shipments reaching 2.3 million units.

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), server shipments totalled 722,000 units in the second quarter of 2008, up 14.6 per cent from 2007.

IBM kept its revenue lead in the worldwide server market for the second quarter of 2008. Increased sales in both its System p and System z brands offset some revenue declines in its other server lines, according to Gartner.

This produced a year-to-year revenue increase of 11.5 per cent for the period and pushed IBM's market share up 1.6 per cent. IBM's overall revenue share lead over second-place HP was 3.6 per cent for the quarter.

Gartner research vice president Jeffrey Hewitt said that the most significant driver for sales in the quarter was an upswing in x86 server replacements. Web data centre build outs and growth in emerging markets also added to sales.

In the x86 market, total volumes in EMEA grew by 16.1 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2007. Strong performances by HP and Dell bolstered the growth in this segment. In particular, Dell's growth of 22.1 per cent outpaced its nearest rivals, driven largely by increased volumes in low-end servers.

In the second quarter of 2008, RISC and Itanium Unix servers grew 17.9 per cent in revenue, but unit shipments declined 6.5 per cent year-on-year.

"RISC and Itanium Unix servers fell 7.9 per cent in shipments but grew 9.4 per cent in revenue indicating that higher-end systems were the hardware platforms that drove sales in this space," said Hewitt.

Meanwhile, Dell and HP also saw revenue increases for the period. HP had a market share of 27.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2008, while Dell held 13 per cent for the same period. This is compared to the 31.2 per cent market share for IBM.

However, Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens and Sun experienced revenue declines of -0.1 per cent and -6.8 per cent respectively.