The low-end server market is growing, according to new figures from IDC, but the news is not so promising for higher-end, RISC-based systems.
In terms of overall spend, the RISC market accounted for 31.5 per cent of overall server sales in 2005. This was a drop of 2.4 per cent against the previous 12 months.
Conversely, the Intel-based server market, which is serviced by the wider channel, grew from 53.6 per cent of the market in 2004 to 53.9 per cent.
Although only a nominal percentage increase, the 0.3 per cent rise was still significant because of the vast price difference between these types of server, according to IDC PC hardware analyst, Christopher Ward.
While the RISC-based market had declined, it still presented a major service opportunity for resellers.
"The RISC market is definitely a potential opportunity for resellers, but taking on the internal expertise to service it is a big factor to consider," Ward said. "It's probably why a lot of resellers haven't done it yet."
The year ahead would see businesses make a choice between consolidating existing services to fewer RISC-based servers, or distributing the load across multiple, low-cost, Intel-based servers, Ward said.