Whitebox players chalk up significant server growth

Whitebox players chalk up significant server growth

IDC points to small business as the strongest market for non-branded x86 servers

The whitebox x86 server space experienced a strong surge in revenue and shipments during the first quarter of the financial year, according to IDC.

Revenues across the whitebox server market increased year-on-year by 125 per cent, with combined sales placing fifth in revenue terms behind Sun Microsystems. This puts combined whitebox sales ahead of major brands such as Acer and Apple, IDC enterprise server and workstations analyst, Matthew Oostveen, said.

“We’ve seen the whitebox server market growing towards the end of 2007 and it’s continuing to grow quarter-on-quarter,” he said. “It’s performing very strongly.”

The highest adopters of x86 whitebox servers have predominantly been organisations with up to 10 employees, as well as specific vertical markets such as engineering, Oostveen said.

“Australia is an SMB marketplace and there’s a tremendous amount of businesses sitting within comapnies that have up to 10 employees,” he said.

Oostveen said whitebox vendors are able to tailor servers to a higher degree than their branded counterparts.

“Typically, whitebox servers also come in at a lower price point than their branded competitors,” he said.

Overall x86 server revenues in Australia grew 19 per cent year-on-year, while unit shipments increased by eight per cent.

“The entire market has moved forward,” Oostveen said. “The average system value has gone up significantly and that’s because of virtualisation. Systems are going out with a really rich high-end configuration for virtualised deployments.”

HP proved the outstanding performer with 45 per cent revenue share, followed by Dell at 22.5 per cent, IBM at 19.1 per cent and Sun at 4.9 per cent.

Oostveen said Sun was making bigger inroads into the x86 space and increased its revenue market share by 159 per cent in comparison to Q1 2007. Sun released a range of x86 servers based on Intel platforms about 18 months ago.

“IDC expects Sun to continue to introduce more products into this x86 server product line in 2008,” Oostveen said. “Sun has not reached its full potential in the x86 server market. While Sun may not continue to double x86 business each quarter, they should continue growing at a double digit rate for the remainder of 2008.”

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