Server Wars: Everybody Wins?
Gartner and IDC have released their latest sales estimates for the server market, and most major vendors are declaring victory. Let’s check the claims vs. market realities.
IBM: Based on Gartner data, IBM says it’s No. 1 in worldwide server revenue and blade server revenue. What IBM didn’t say: Mainframe revenue counts heavily in IBM’s sales data, hiding the fact that Big Blue trails HP by a wide margin in x86 server sales.
Sun: Based on Gartner data, Sun says it’s the world’s No. 1. Unix server vendor (not exactly a growth market…), and the fastest-growing provider of Linux servers. What Sun didn’t say: Sun has a relatively small installed base of Linux servers, so it’s easy for the company to show dramatic growth in that sector.
HP: Based on IDC figures, HP says it has outshipped all major vendors in the worldwide server market. The company is No.1 in worldwide revenue for the Windows, Unix, Linux, x86, x86-64, AMD Opteron and Intel Itanium-based servers. What HP didn’t say: Actually, it’s hard to poke holes in HP’s claims. The firm’s recent financial results were particularly strong.
Bottom line: HP is leading the market for modern x86 servers, IBM continues to perform very strongly, and Sun has rebounded a bit but needs to move more quickly from Unix to Linux. The biggest news? Dell hasn’t commented on the Gartner and IDC sales studies.