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UK server market is BACK... to business as usual

Revenues get that sinking feeling again, down 8% to $460m

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Call it a slide, a slump - whatever the preferred adjective - it was back to business as usual for the downbeat UK server market in Q2 as those dratted big iron systems tumbled off the edge of a cliff again.

Not every vendor had a tough time, but overall factory revenues declined eight per cent year-on-year in dollar terms to $460m, polarised by a 25 per cent hike in x86 systems to $380m and a 60 per cent non-ex86 crash.

Several large HPC deals in the higher education sector, combined with higher spending from financial institutions in the City and more demand from local service providers fuelled x86 sales, said IDC.

“The non-86 space remains very volatile,” said senior number cruncher Giorgio Nebuloni, who added that a strong comparison period a year ago – when IBM signed off some very large deals – didn’t help to flatter the most recent data.

Server top dog HP again outpaced the market, growing more by more than a fifth to grab a 38 per cent share of the spoils. Fourth-placed Oracle grew 12 per cent and in fifth, Cisco's sales went up more than 50 per cent.

On the flip side, second placed Dell was down by low double digits to 15.4 per cent market share and IBM haemorrhaged market share as sales dropped by more than 50 per cent on a year ago when it was UK market revenue leader.

After the cheers subsided, the Q1 uplift in server sales proved to be an all-too-brief respite for anyone selling servers to pay the bills.

IDC forecasts similarly slim pickings for the remainder of 2014, predicting revenue growth of one to two per cent.

Still, it is growth, and these days not much more can be asked of the mature and uncertain hardware infrastructure market, that seems to be now largely driven by the big events. Windows Server 2003 anyone? ®

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