The x86 server market hit record shipments in the second quarter this year, according to IDC.
During Q2, the x86 server space recorded a shipment of over 38,100 units, up from the previous quarter’s 30,950 units.
Enterprise server and workstations analyst, Matt Oostveen, said most growth was due to government spending, which accounted for 20 per cent of overall shipments.
“Traditionally we see government agencies spending up big on their budgets before the end of Q2,” he said. “We always see a strong Q2, but we don't expect the numbers to be strong in Q3 or Q4. Non-x86 servers normally have a strong Q4.”
Communications and media organisations were the second biggest sector, ahead of the banking industry in third place.
“The server marketplace is holding its breath as it waits for the Gershon Report to be handed down outlining the plan for all future government spending of its $16 billion ICT budget,” Oostveen said. “The rethink of government spending on technology, coupled with the financial turmoil, makes it an interesting time. However, I don't think the x86 server market will be negatively affected.”
Oostveen said a lot of companies had begun to embrace consolidation and were going down the virtualisation path.
“That’s been a great catalyst for the x86 server business. Government and business can significantly reduce their capital expenditure through consolidation and virtualisation, which should continue to drive growth in the market,” he said. “However, we only expect this phenomenon to continue over the next two to three years. It will probably plateau out as we hit a critical mass of virtualisation.”
Osteveen said all major server vendors showed impressive growth, which saw the overall market expand by 23.3 per cent. In the x86 server space, HP remains the market leader, however it did lose some market share due to strong numbers from Dell, IBM, Acer and whitebox servers, which have grown by 16 per cent on a quarterly basis.
“One of the drivers behind the growth in whitebox servers comes from Intel's Modular Server products, which have expanded to include industry standards for blades,” Oostveen said. “Whitebox sales have grown for the last 12 months and should continue to expand for rest of 2008.”