Report: Server Sales Increase for Q4 2010

IDC cited positive results for the global server market in last year's fourth quarter, based on data announced on Monday.

Worldwide server shipments have increased by 6.1 percent over Q4 2009 numbers for the final quarter of 2010, according to an IDC report. The increase of 2.1 million units sold and $15.0 billion in revenue is the highest growth in the overall market in three years.

The Q4 sales figure ends 2010 on a high note. The server industry saw growth in every quarter during 2010, accounting for an increase of $48.1 billion in revenue over 2009's total numbers.

The global market for x86 servers grew 21.4 percent in Q4 to $9.0 billion, representing "the highest quarterly revenue ever reported for x86 servers," according to IDC. However, the report also cited growth from non-x86 platforms.

"Non-x86 platforms contributed significantly to the server market recovery in the fourth quarter and it remains clear that a variety of heterogeneous server platforms remain an integral part of a comprehensive enterprise IT strategy today," said IDC's Enterprise Platform Group Vice President Matt Eastwood. "At the same time, datacenters are being optimized to support virtualization, automation, convergence, workload-optimized systems, and cloud strategies in both large and small organizations around the globe."

As for individual server vendor results, IBM once again claims the top spot, with a revenue growth of 69.1 percent year-over-year for the fourth quarter. This result is due largely to higher-than-expected sales of its System z servers running z/OS. According to IDC, the $1.7 billion revenue jump is the largest increase it has reported for IBM.

Windows servers also experienced a positive bump in demand, thanks to high x86 server market refreshes, leading to an increase of 42.1 percent of quarterly revenue. The overall x86 sector shipped over 2 million servers for the final quarter in 2010.

"Within the x86 market, high-end servers showed higher growth rates for both server shipments and revenue than low-end servers," said IDC senior analyst Reuben Miller. "With the introduction of higher performing processors with multiple cores, customers are finding more benefit in purchasing multi-socket server units than single socket systems."

Oracle's Sun brand was unable to follow the overall upward market trend; it experienced a Q4 decrease of 14.4 percent, compared with 2009's fourth quarter result. Fujitsu also saw its revenue drop by 9.4 percent in Q4.

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Chris Paoli is the site producer for and


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