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HP retains server revs and shipments crown

Ahead of IBM and Dell in Q1

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The boom in demand for big, fat data centres built to churn out web-based apps helped plump up worldwide server revenue to more than $13bn in the first quarter of 2008.

Companies have been throwing plenty of cash at x86-based server beasts to help flesh out their web data centres, according to a report yesterday from IT analyst firm Gartner.

Hewlett-Packard once again pulled in more global revenue and shipments in Q1 than its closest rival IBM.

HP racked up ten per cent more server revenue than the same period a year ago, reeling in $4bn for the three months ended 31 March, narrowly ahead of IBM’s $3.9bn – an increase of just two per cent on the first quarter of 2007.

IBM had been sitting pretty at the top of the server revenue pile for many years, but in recent quarters a robust HP has retained the all-important number one spot.

HP shifted 683,433 servers for the quarter, while Dell pushed out 516,499 boxes and IBM shipped 302,057 systems, according to the Gartner report.

Dell was third place on server revenue and brought in $1.6bn, up six per cent on last year’s quarter. The only major server vendor to lose revenue in Q1 was Sun Microsystems with a drop of less than one per cent on revenue of $1.3bn.

Total server revenue increased 4.3 per cent to $13.6bn in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, with shipments up 7.6 per cent. However, Gartner noted that overall growth hasn’t been as feisty as in recent years.

Despite that, the analyst firm said that companies have been ditching old kit in favour of new x86 models that are capable of supporting web-based apps.

The report also pinpointed emerging markets, such as India and China, where it said growth had “forged ahead” for the first three months of 2008.

Meanwhile, shipments of RISC and Itanium-based Unix servers dropped, but still that sector scored a slight increase in revenue. IBM led the charge for the quarter on revenue in that market, while Sun Microsystems shipped more units. ®

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