Feeds

Big iron sellers grow shipments, shrink revenues

Server price-lash

Top three mobile application threats

The box counters at Gartner have released their statistics for the worldwide server market in the third quarter of 2008, and the numbers are not good. But if there is an upside as we deal with the economic meltdown, the numbers could have been worse. And maybe they will be in 2009.

But let's deal with 2008. In the third quarter spanning July to September, Gartner reckons that server makers around the globe pumped out some 2.32 million machines, an increase of 4.4 per cent in unit shipments compared to the third quarter of 2007. But because x64 server makers cut prices to maintain sales volumes and then increased them and because customers shopping for big iron like RISC/Unix servers put their plans on hold as they awaited some sort of clarity in the economy, aggregate server revenues worldwide shrunk 5.4 per cent to $12.72bn.

And not one of the top tier server makers - IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Sun Microsystems, and Fujitsu - was able to grow sales in the quarter, and the Others category didn't do so hot either. In fact, the revenue market shares didn't change all that much in Q3 this year compared to last year. Basically, HP and IBM gained what Sun lost - and we're talking fractions of a point of market share.

"Server shipments grew in the third quarter, but the specter of constrained economies and tightened credit was felt in the revenue area," explained Jeffrey Hewitt, the research vice president at Gartner in charge of the server market modeling, in a statement accompanying Gartner's stats.

"What we've seen is larger system purchases in the Unix area put in check. At the same time x86 servers were able to maintain some shipment momentum, but lower overall average x86 server selling prices resulted in a drop in revenue in the quarter for this server type as well. Evidence of a challenged RISC-Itanium Unix server area appeared in a fall of 16.1 per cent in shipments and 10.8 per cent in revenue."

It is hard to say what part of market share matters more, revenue or shipments, but in the server space, mastery of either one can lead to what really matters: profits. No vendor has mastered both, although many have tried.

In terms of revenues in Q3, IBM once again came out on top, with $3.86bn in sales, down 4.2 per cent, a decline a little less than the overall market thanks in large part by growth in the sales of Power Systems AIX-i-Linux boxes and System z mainframes. IBM added a whopping 3/10ths of a point of share for all that effort. Hewlett-Packard took up its traditional second pole position in the Gartner rankings, with $3.79bn in sales, down 3.9 per cent and giving HP an extra 4/10ths of a percent of share. Dell fell more or less with the market, with sales down 5.2 per cent to $1.5bn, and yielding the same 11.8 per cent of the global server pie that Dell had a year ago.

Sun came in fourth when ranked by sales, with $1.16bn in boxes sold, a decline of 13.7 per cent from the year-ago quarter. The Fujitsu-Siemens partnership (soon to be just Fujitsu since the Japanese company is buying out its German partner) accounted for $616.7m in sales, down 7.3 per cent and obviously falling faster than the market at large. Other vendors - and there are dozens of tier three, white box, and boutique server makers still out there - accounted for $1.79bn in sales in the quarter, according to Gartner, giving them 14.1 per cent of the server revenue pie, a piece that shrank slightly less fast than the market at large.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Next page: Price-lash

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Brit boffins use TARDIS to re-route data flows through time and space
'Traffic Assignment and Retiming Dynamics with Inherent Stability' algo can save ISPs big bucks
Microsoft's Nadella: SQL Server 2014 means we're all about data
Adds new big data tools in quest for 'ambient intelligence'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.