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RISC, Itanium lose out to x86 in Q3 server market: Gartner

The worldwide server market grew by unit shipments and revenue in the third quarter this year, but the downward spiral of RISC and Itanium servers continued on the gains of x86 servers, Gartner said yesterday.

Worldwide server unit shipments totaled 2.4 million during the third quarter this year, growing by 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year, Gartner said in a statement. The shipment of high-end servers and mainframes based on RISC and Intel’s Itanium architecture declined by 6.8% during the quarter, while shipments of servers based on x86 chips grew by 7.6%.

Overall server shipments increased due to strength in Asia-Pacific, where shipments grew by 23.9%, Gartner said. x86 server shipments grew despite weakness in U.S. and Western Europe.

Worldwide server revenue was US$13 billion during the quarter, growing by 5.2% year-over-year. Despite a drop in shipments, revenue from servers based on RISC and Itanium shipments grew by 3.5% year-over-year to $2.4 billion. The revenue trend was driven by IBM, which recorded revenue growth of 27% for the category. Revenue declined for second-place Oracle, which sells servers based on the SPARC architecture, and third-place Hewlett-Packard, which sells Itanium servers, Gartner analysts said.

HP last week switched gears with its high-end Integrity server business, saying in the future it would add servers that incorporate both x86 Xeon- and Itanium-based blades side by side.

Despite struggles, HP remained the top server maker worldwide by unit shipments, but IBM took over the top spot in worldwide server sales, analysts said. IBM’s total server revenue was $3.85 billion, growing by 3.5%. HP’s revenue was $3.8 billion, a decline of 3.6%.

According to Gartner, HP’s server shipments declined by 3.1%, giving the company a 32.3% market share. Shipments of second-ranked Dell went up by 3.2% for a market share of 21.8%, while IBM’s server shipment market share dropped to 12.1% on flat shipments.

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