IBM was once again the winner in the server market for the first quarter of 2007 in terms of revenue, while HP led the pack as far as shipments are concerned.
Overall, server shipments across the globe grew 6% during the first quarter of 2007, while revenue jumped 4,5%.
Gartner says that worldwide server revenues totaled $12,9-billion for the quarter, as worldwide servers shipments reached just over 2,1-million units.
"x86 servers had been constrained in the fourth quarter of 2006 due to the lengthening sales cycles, following a period of particularly rapid technology transition," says Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice-president at Gartner. "As we had predicted, this constraint was less about virtualisation and was only a temporary issue as evidenced by the fact that this part of the market returned to growth in the first quarter.
"RISC-Itanium Unix servers fell 15,5% in shipments for the quarter and fell 1,5% in revenue," he says. "The competition remains intense in this portion of the market as it continues to face declines."
IBM continued to lead the worldwide server market based on revenue. It had increases for the quarter in System p/p Series, System x/x Series and System z/z Series while it experienced declines only in System i/i Series which combined to produce an overall revenue increase of 8,4% for the quarter and boosted IBM's revenue share 1,1%.
IBM's shipments fell 1,1% for the quarter and it lost 1% of shipment share on a worldwide basis. IBM increased its blade server shipments 12,7% and its blade server revenue 15,5%, but it lost share to Hewlett-Packard which remained in the Number one position with that form factor.
In server shipments, Hewlett-Packard (HP) gained 3% in share, and retained its worldwide server shipment lead returning to a 30% share which it has not seen since 2002. The share gap between it and second place Dell increased 3,6% for the quarter as HP regained share particularly in the US.
Much of its share gain can be attributed to growth in the traditional "sweet spot" of one- and two-socket x86 servers.
HP's year-on-year shipment growth was 17,8% in total for the quarter. HP's ProLiant product line showed a shipment increase of 19,2%, HP Integrity grew 32,7%, and hp NonStop Server grew 9,8%. HP's remaining brands declined for the period.
Dell's server issues continued as its overall server shipments increased at 3,3% for Q1, and it lost 0,6% share. Dell's revenue grew 10,3% which gave it a 0,5% share increase.
Sun posted a 10,1% shipment decline and lost 0,7% shipment share for Q1 but produced a 2,2% revenue increase which resulted in a loss of 0,2% server revenue share.
Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens grew 7,2% in shipments and maintained its shipment share; it fell 7,7% in server revenue and lost 0,7% in worldwide share.
In Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), server shipments for the first quarter of 2007 increased 11% over the same quarter last year, while server revenue for the same period grew 10,4%. Server revenue totaled $4,27-billion for the quarter, while server shipments reached 655 000 units.
"Although server shipments slowed down in the fourth quarter of 2006, the market returned to stronger growth levels in the first quarter of 2007, exhibiting a year on year double digit growth for the first time since the first quarter of 2006," says Samina Malik, principal analyst at Gartner.
Server revenue also saw strong growth. The increase was generated by strong x86 business, up 14.6 percent in the first quarter of 2007 as well as good growth rates from the Unix segment and IBM's System z line.