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Australian server market revenue soars 87 per cent

Australian server market revenue soars 87 per cent

Revenues and units shipped rise strongly from Q1 but drop year on year

The Australian server market has made a dramatic recovery in the April to June period with revenues rising 87 per cent on those at the end of the first quarter, according to IDC.

A bounce in the x86 server market and several large deals in the RISC UNIX and Mainframe spaces drove the recovery, IDC services research manager, Matt Oostveen, said.

“Quarter-on-quarter the Australian x86 server market rallied 51 per cent in units shipped,” he said. “With Q109 the worst quarter in the history of the market, Q209's results clawed back much of the losses.”

However, overall unit shipments dropped 25 per cent year-on-year in the April to June period to continue the poor performance of hardware sales in 2009 compared with 2008.

Revenues also fell by 10 per cent year-on-year. IBM took the lead market share by revenues with 43.9 per cent. HP (25.9 per cent) and Sun Microsystems (17.5 per cent) followed.

Oostveen attributed IBM’s success to the average selling price of Big Blue’s offerings, including its Mainframe and RISC technologies.

“In particular, IBM's system Z Mainframe continues to perform exceedingly strongly, defying many market predictions that scale out computing models in the form of highly virtualised x86 servers would be the final blow to the 45-year-old brand,” he said.

When measured by units the vendor rankings change significantly, underscoring the volume of x86 servers being adopted by Australian companies. In first place was HP with 39.1 per cent, followed by Dell (21.9 per cent) and IBM (18.3 per cent).

For the Q2 period rack-optimised servers accounted for more than half of all shipments in Australia. Blades made up 13 per cent of the total server market (x86 and non-x86 combined).

Driving some of the x86 sales was the release of many new vendor product ranges based on Intel’s Nehalem platform. IBM, Dell, HP, Acer, Sun, Lenovo and Cisco have all released Xeon 5500 platform-based servers since the start of March.

“The huge performance and price advantage Nehalem brings to the marketplace has allowed server vendors to offer return on investment windows far smaller than ever before,” Oostveen said. “With the global financial crisis impacting IT spending, and CIOs cost-conscious approach to infrastructure, the timing of Nehalem could not have been better.”

According to fellow analyst group, Gartner, in the second quarter of 2009, the Asia-Pacific region experienced a 17.2 per cent year-on-year decline in server shipments. Server vendor revenue was also down 15 per cent over the same period to $US1.71 billion. However, Australia bucked the trend and chalk up a revenue decline of just 2.5 per cent. Revenue also doubled between Q1 and Q2, 2009.

In early July, Oostveen described the Australian server market as having gone to “hell in a hand basket” in the first quarter of the year. In the overall server market units shipped declined 38.9 per cent; revenue declined 38.8 per cent year-on-year.

The x86 server market shrunk to its smallest recorded figure since the first quarter in 2004. Units shipped dropped 38 per cent and revenue contracted a whopping 46.4 per cent. In the non-x86 market, revenues declined 26.6 per cent to outperform the x86 market.

However, the IDC analyst the Q2 results were not nearly as bad as the first quarter of the year.

“Considering the fact that the same quarter in 2008 set a record for the number of servers shipped, and the economy was in the grip of the GFC, the 25 per cent decline in units was not a bitter pill to swallow,” Oostveen said.


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Tags IDCserver market

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