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Server revenue, shipments on the up

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In the third quarter of 2015, worldwide server shipments grew 9,2% from the third quarter of 2014, while vendor revenue increased 7,5% year over year.
“The third quarter of 2015 produced growth on a global level with mixed results by region,” says Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice-president at Gartner. “All regions showed growth in both shipments and vendor revenue, except for Eastern Europe, Japan and Latin America, which posted revenue declines of 5,8%, 11,7% and 24,2%, respectively, for the period. Currency exchange rates are one of the main reasons for the disparity in regional server market performance.”
From the regional standpoint, Asia/Pacific grew the most in shipments, with a 23,8% increase. The region also posted the highest vendor revenue growth at 25,4% for the period.
HP continued to lead the worldwide server market based on revenue. The company posted just over $3,7-billion in server vendor revenue for a total market share of 27,3% for the third quarter of 2015.
All of the top five global vendors had revenue increases for the third quarter of 2015, except for IBM with a decline of 42,8%. IBM’s decline is due primarily to its sale of its x86 server business to Lenovo. Beyond that, IBM’s server revenue fell 3,1% for the RISC segment, but grew 15% for mainframes to post a 5,1% total growth in the third quarter for the server businesses that it retained.
In server shipments, HP remained the worldwide leader in the third quarter of 2015 with a year-over-year shipment increase of 7,7%. HP’s worldwide server shipment market share was 22,2%, virtually the same share as in the third quarter of 2014.
All of the top five vendors in server shipments worldwide produced shipment increases in the third quarter of 2015, with Lenovo recording the largest growth of 183,2%.
Hewitt says: “x86 servers managed to produce an increase with growth of 9,2% in shipments and 9,7% in revenue year over year. RISC/Itanium Unix server revenue declined 11,5% in the third quarter, while shipments grew 1,1%. The ‘other’ CPU category, which is primarily mainframes, showed an increase of 3,5% in terms of revenue.”
In EMEA, server shipments totalled 533-million units and grew 1,4% in the third quarter of 2015. Server revenue totalled $3-billion, an increase of 3,7%.
“This year has been up and down for the server market in EMEA,” says Adrian O’Connell, research director at Gartner. “The server market in EMEA achieved growth in the third quarter following a decline in the second quarter. While the replacement cycle has offset currency-related weakness this quarter, the ongoing economic environment remains difficult for the server vendors.”
In shipment terms, HP saw its share increase in the third quarter of 2015 and managed to maintain the number one position. Dell held second place as its share of shipments also increased year over year thanks to executing well as a privately held company. HP, Dell and Cisco have all benefitted from Lenovo taking over IBM’s x86 server business. Lenovo moved to the number three position, but its market share remained below that of IBM’s x86 business of a year ago.
In revenue terms, HP and IBM were the only top five server vendors to exhibit a decline in the third quarter of 2015. IBM lost two positions year over year, while Cisco narrowly moved ahead of IBM. Cisco benefitted from continued demand for blade servers, while IBM’s mainframe refresh slowed during the quarter.
“The EMEA server market is at risk of bi-furcating into HP, Dell and then everyone else,” says O’Connell. “All vendors face challenges but, aside from Cisco, most are losing share to HP and Dell. The pressure is on to improve efficiencies now or be left behind in the race for future enterprise business.”