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IDC: Linux Servers Grow Faster Than Windows in Q3

Linux servers gained market share much faster than Windows servers did in the third quarter, according to research released Wednesday by market researchers at IDC.

The Standard Intel Architecture Servers that underpin both OS platforms, meanwhile, continue to make up a growing share of the overall market as Unix servers decline in market share. In other developments, IBM assumed the revenue lead among eight-processor Intel server manufacturers.

Linux servers gained 26.7 percent market share in year-over-year growth for the third quarter, IDC found. Windows servers gained 3.2 percent share for the same period.

"In part that comes from Linux having a smaller base. The absolute number of Windows shipments is several times the number of Linux systems that are shipping. Still we do see substantial growth for Linux," says Jean Bozman, vice president of server research at IDC.

Overall, Standard Intel Architecture Servers (SIAS) gained three points over the same quarter a year ago to reach 40 percent of the total server market. Unix servers declined 10 percent in the same period.

Broken down by vendors, HP held a strong lead in the SIAS market with 32.8 percent market share. Dell was next with 21.9 percent. IBM, meanwhile, saw growth in the SIAS market, especially in the eight-processor system sector where IBM displaced HP for the top spot in revenues.

"They've reported fairly good growth in the overall market," Bozman says of IBM. In the eight-processor space, she says, "The [IBM eServer xSeries 440] has had a very good pickup. IBM put a lot of investment into their Summit chipset, and they do a lot with leveraging technologies they already have in their other product lines."

Other trends noted by IDC in the third quarter:

  • A stabilitization in the server space, with the smallest year-over-year decline (5.6 percent) in worldwide server market factory revenue in two years.
  • IBM regained the lead of the server market overall after tying HP in Q2. IBM now has a 29.8 percent share.
  • Dell was the only vendor in the top 5 to post year-over-year revenue growth (7.5 percent).
  • HP took the lead in the overall Unix market from perennial Unix-server market leader Sun. IDC analysts say the market continues to be up for grabs in the next quarter.
  • About the Author

    Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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