Arik Hesseldahl

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IBM and HP Dominated Server Sales Last Quarter

IBM and Hewlett-Packard remained the top two kids on the block in the server business last quarter, according to the latest market share figures from research firm Gartner. But HP dominated a little less than it did a year ago.

In a market that grew overall by more than 5 percent to $12.3 billion in revenues and 2.2 million servers sold, HP and IBM were neck and neck on a revenue basis, each accounting for about $3.8 billion, or about 29 percent of the market, followed by Dell, Oracle and Fujitsu.

On a unit basis, HP was the undisputed king, selling 693,000 servers, which works out to an average price of about $5,500 each. IBM sold 288,000 at an average price north of $13,000. Dell sold 518,000 servers.

For HP, both figures represented year-on-year declines of about 3 percent, and are roughly in line with the results HP reported last week. HP said that sales of industry standard servers, meaning those that run regular Intel chips, were down 4 percent, and business critical servers — the ones that run the exotic Intel Itanium chip — were down 23 percent, thanks in no small part to the ongoing scrap with Oracle.

Generally, the server market was healthy worldwide, except in Western Europe, where sales declined by about 5 percent. Asia, on the other had, made up for that by growing nearly 24 percent. Eastern Europe did even better, growing more than 27 percent.

Demand was strongest for basic x86 servers, running chips from either Intel or Advanced Micro Devices, where growth was north of 9 percent on a revenue basis. Servers running Itanium and RISC chips, which include things like IBM’s Power architecture and Oracle’s SPARC, declined on a per-unit basis, but oddly saw revenue increase a little, meaning that those machines sold are for one reason or another commanding a higher price.

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