Ryan B. Patrick
Findings of IDC's latest Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker
highlight a growing IT trend — enterprises are boosting
computing capacity incrementally via low-cost volume servers.
Compared with the same quarter a year ago, the worldwide server
market is still a sluggish one, according to the Framingham,
Mass.-based research firm. Revenue dipped 3.6 per cent, to
US$10.5 billion during the first quarter of 2003. IDC says
organizations have tightened their IT budgets but have managed
to add computing power with rack-optimized servers.
Rack-optimized servers and server blades, such as those used in
clusters and server farms, are becoming an effective alternative
to larger RISC-based solutions, according to IDC.
While worldwide server sales in the first quarter were in-step
with traditional seasonal buying patterns, the numbers also
reflect new buying patterns that have cropped up during the
economic downturn of the last two years, according to IDC.
In Canada, server sales have generally fallen in line with the
global figures, according to Toronto-based Alan Freedman,
research manager of infrastructure hardware for IDC Canada Ltd.
Not only is the volume server an easy way to add capacity, it is
also the most likely purchase decision that will get approved,
"And functionality of the volume servers is increasing…so you
can do more with a volume server than [you] could have in the
Stephen Ibaraki, chairman for New Westminister, B.C.-based iGEN
Knowledge Solutions Inc., said that the trend of IT departments
buying volume servers — servers priced less than US$25,000 — as
a low-cost way to add capacity likely will continue.
Numbers and share
Overall market spending appears to have stabilized, IDC
noted. IBM Corp. came in at No. 1, with a 30.4 per cent market
share in factory revenue and a 10 per cent growth in revenue.
IBM's revenue from servers for the quarter was US$3.2 billion,
up from the $2.9 billion it posted in the second quarter of
HP, with a 27.7 per cent share recorded revenue of US$2.9
billion for the second quarter of 2003, the same as in 2002.
However, IDC said, HP retained its revenue lead in the Linux and
Windows server markets, followed by Sun Microsystems Inc., Dell
Inc. and Fujitsu Siemens Computers (Holding) BV.
Unit shipments in the Windows server market jumped 21.7 per cent
from the same quarter of 2002. Windows servers accounted for
$3.1 billion, or almost a third of sales for the quarter.