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IDC: Server Revenue Up 13.2 Percent in Third Quarter

Revenue was up 13.2 percent in the third quarter from global server sales, according to the IDC research firm.

Worldwide server revenue hit $11.8 billion in the third quarter, IDC stated in its latest "Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker" report, announced on Wednesday. IDC uses the term "factory revenue" in its report, which includes direct and indirect sales channels and various server components in the calculation.

Matt Eastwood, IDC's group vice president for enterprise platforms, said in a released statement that "the server market experienced its strongest growth in 10 years in the third quarter of 2010."

Eastwood's assessment seems much more rosy than the dark descriptions given in last year's Server Tracker report. In late 2009, IDC had reported an overall decline in the server market, year-over-year, largely due to the global economic meltdown and virtualization. However, the analyst firm also predicted then that there would be a server market refresh coming around the bend.

Microsoft grabbed $5.6 billion in the third quarter from Windows Server sales, which represents 47.7 percent of overall factory revenue for the quarter, according to IDC's report.

Linux server software pulled in $2.1 billion in the third quarter, the report found. Linux servers now account for 17 percent of all server revenue.

Revenue from IBM's z/OS servers exceeded $1 billion, which constitutes 8.6 percent of all server revenue for the third quarter.

Unix servers showed an overall 9.7 percent decline in revenue, year over year in the third quarter, but revenue was still $2.5 billion for the quarter, according to IDC's report. However, for the midrange server market, Unix actually showed an increase in unit shipments and revenue, according to Jean S. Brozman, IDC's research vice president for enterprise servers. In a released statement, Brozman attributed the Unix midrange market increase to buildouts "for telco, banking, and government infrastructure in fast-growing economies worldwide."

The top server hardware vendors for the quarter included Hewlett-Packard ($3.9 billion), IBM ($3.6 billion), Dell ($1.6 billion), Oracle ($786 million) and Fujitsu ($608 million).

IDC reported that x86-based servers now represent 66.1 percent of all worldwide server revenue, continuing an upward trend. Blade server shipments grew 5.5 percent in the third quarter compared with last year's third-quarter result. Most blade servers (88 percent) are x86-based, according to IDC's report.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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