The Leader of the Band

Worldwide Server Market Experiences Modest Growth in 4Q of 2007
by: Jerry Liao

We have been discussing alot about new mobile phones, gadgets, notebook computers, PCs, printers, and more. Mostly front-end equipment, things that consumers has direct contact with. But how about the servers that runs at the background? Who’s leading the server market? Is it continuously growing or is it declining? Who’s leading the server operating system (OS)? Let’s find out:

According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, factory revenue in the worldwide server market grew 2.4% year over year to $15.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007 (4Q07), marking the seventh consecutive quarter of positive growth. Worldwide server unit shipments grew 9.0% in 4Q07 when compared with the year-ago period. For the full year 2007, worldwide server revenue grew 3.6% to $54.4 billion, while worldwide unit shipments grew 6.7% to 8.0 million units. This represents the highest annual server revenue since the market peaked in 2000 with factory revenue of more than $61.6 billion.

Volume systems revenue grew 8.2% year over year and the segment continues to be the catalyst for growth in the server market overall, gaining favor with SMB and enterprise customers alike. Midrange enterprise server revenue experienced negative growth for the fourth consecutive quarter, declining –0.5% year over year while the high-end enterprise server market had similar results with –5.7% year-over-year revenue growth.

Overall Server Market Standings, by Vendor
IBM held onto its number 1 spot in the worldwide server systems market with 36.7% market share in factory revenue for 4Q07, growing factory revenue by 0.5% year over year. This growth was driven by solid performance from its System x and System p servers. HP maintained the number 2 spot with 27.7% share for the quarter, growing revenue 6.3% compared to 4Q06. HP’s growth stemmed from strong ProLiant and Integrity server performance. Dell and Sun ended the quarter in a statistical tie for third place with factory revenue market share of 10.1% and 9.3% respectively. Dell experienced 6.8% revenue growth compared with 4Q06, while Sun experienced a year-over-year revenue decline of 2.4% in 4Q07. Fujitsu/Fujitsu- Siemens, experienced a 7.1% increase in factory revenue holding 4.3% revenue share in 4Q07.

Top Server Market Findings
– Microsoft Windows servers showed positive growth as revenues grew 6.9% and unit shipments grew 9.8% year over year. Quarterly revenue of $5.7 billion for Microsoft Windows servers set an all-time high for a single quarter and represented the single largest revenue segment in the server market with 36.6% of overall quarterly factory revenue.

– Unix servers experienced 1.5% revenue growth year over year when compared with 4Q06. Worldwide Unix revenues were $5.2 billion for the quarter, representing 33.3% of quarterly server spending and reflecting continued IT investment in this server market segment, with particular strength in the midrange enterprise segment of the Unix market which comprises 53.8% of all Unix spending.

– Linux server revenue reached $2.0 billion for the first time in any single quarter on 11.6% year-over-year growth. Linux servers now represent 12.7% of all server revenue, up more than 1 point over 4Q06.

“Growth in the top three operating-system segments of the server market, by revenue—Windows, Unix and Linux—underscores the diversity of the workloads that are running in customer sites, and the continuing demand for all three operating environments in the worldwide server marketplace,” said Jean S. Bozman, research vice president, IDC Enterprise Computing Group. “All three environments compete for workloads in the Internet infrastructure, Web 2.0, high performance computing (HPC), and enterprise computing spaces.”

x86 Industry Standard Server Market Dynamics
The x86 server market continued to grow in 4Q07, increasing 7.6% in the quarter to $7.8 billion in worldwide revenues. Unit shipment growth also accelerated, growing a healthy 10.3% year-over-year to 2.1 million servers as customers continued to refresh and expand their IT infrastructures. For the full year 2007, worldwide x86 server revenue grew 10.4% to $28.7 billion, while worldwide x86 unit shipments grew 8.3% to 7.6 million units.

HP outpaced the market in 4Q07, growing factory revenue 12.0% and gaining x86 market share in the process. HP led the market with 35.0% revenue share while IBM and Dell tied for second place with each vendor securing about 20% revenue share.

Bladed Server Market Shows Strong Shipment and Revenue Growth
Growth in the server blade market accelerated in the fourth quarter, with factory revenue gaining 54.2% year over year and shipments increasing by 35.6% compared to 4Q06. Overall, bladed servers, including x86, EPIC and RISC blades, accounted for $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter, representing 7.8% of quarterly server market revenue. More than 95% of all blade revenue is driven by x86 systems where blades now represent 14.8% of all x86 server revenue. For the full year 2007, worldwide blade server revenue grew 40.9% year over year to $3.9 billion.

HP maintained the number 1 spot in the server blade market in 4Q07 with 47.7% revenue share. IBM finished second with 32.5% revenue share.

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