Dell gains, Sun loses in worldwide server market: Gartner

Dell's server revenue climbed by 15% year to year

Dell Inc. posted the biggest gains in worldwide server revenue in the second quarter, helping it to nudge Sun Microsystems Inc. out of third place, Gartner Inc. said last week.

IBM retained the top spot but had slower revenue growth than Dell, while Hewlett-Packard Co. stayed in second place with hardly any growth at all, according to Gartner's estimates.

Dell's server revenue climbed by 15% over the second quarter of last year, compared with 11.5% growth for IBM and 3% growth for HP, Gartner said. Sun's revenue declined almost 7% while Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens stayed flat.

Dell made the most of an upswing in x86 server replacements during the quarter, which was the biggest driver for the market as a whole, according to Gartner. Sales were also lifted by data center build-outs and growth in emerging markets.

Server revenue overall grew almost 6% from the second quarter of last year, to $13.8 billion, which Gartner called a solid performance given the economic woes in the U.S. and elsewhere.

The results looked different measured in terms of server units shipped. Using that metric, HP led with about 30% of the market, down slightly from last year. Dell came second with 22% and IBM was third with 13%, Gartner said.

IBM's Unix servers sell in relatively small volumes but at higher prices than x86 systems, which explains why it came first in revenue but third in shipments. Sun and Fujitsu took fourth and fifth place, respectively, as their server unit shipments grew by about 2% and 3%, respectively.

Unit shipments of servers based on Intel's Itanium processor fell 8%, although revenue for those products climbed 9%, meaning higher-end systems are driving the sales of Itanium servers, Gartner said.

Overall, the vendors sold 2.3 million servers during the quarter, up 12% from the same period in 2006.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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