The worldwide server market remained strong in the fourth quarter of 2000, as factory revenue approached US$16.7 billion and server shipments surpassed 1.2 million units, according to a new study released Wednesday.
The factory revenue figures were 14 per cent greater than the fourth quarter of 1999, when revenue hit $14.6 billion, while the shipments were 16 per cent stronger than the over 1 million shipments recorded during the same period in 1999, according to a new study by International Data Corporation (IDC).
In the fourth quarter, the top five server vendors accounted for almost 80 per cent of the worldwide factory revenue, IDC said. IBM led with 27 per cent of the market share. Compaq Computer and Sun Microsystems Inc. held 16.34 percent and 16.32 percent of the market, respectively. Hewlett-Packard held the fourth spot with 14 per cent, while Dell Computer held the fifth post at 6 per cent market share, IDC said.
Rack-optimised servers drove a strong per cent of the growth and are viewed as attractive because of recent technology enhancements, said Vernon Turner, IDC's vice president of Global Enterprise Server Solutions. They take up less physical space, offer easy implementation and, overall, provide easier management, Turner said. Revenue from rack-optimised servers rose 257 per cent year to year, IDC said. That compares with the rest of the server market decreasing almost 6 per cent.
Linux operating system-based servers also showed strong growth in the fourth quarter, IDC said. Linux-based server revenue grew 79 per cent in the fourth quarter 2000 compared to the same quarter one year earlier. For the year, Linux-based servers generated $1.7 billion in revenue for the market, 132 per cent more than in 1999, IDC said.
Servers with Microsoft's Windows NT also saw healthy growth, as revenue increased 33 per cent to nearly $3.8 billion in the fourth quarter, from one year earlier. Microsoft NT-based systems for the year brought in revenue of $13.9 billion -- 31 per cent more than in 1999, IDC said. Unix-based servers, meanwhile, saw a revenue increase of 18 per cent for the fourth quarter and a 14 per cent increase for the year. Unix-based server revenue reached $29 billion for 2000, IDC said.
For the full year 2000, IDC reported that the worldwide server market topped $60.2 billion in factory revenue on shipments of 4.4 million units. The figures translates to a 7 per cent annual revenue growth and 17 per cent shipment growth, according to IDC.
Similar to the fourth quarter vendor leader board, IBM led the way with 23 per cent of the worldwide market revenue in 2000. IBM was followed by Sun with 17 per cent, Compaq with 16.5 per cent, Hewlett-Packard with 15 per cent and Dell with 6 per cent, IDC said.
Although the economy has hit turbulent times and Intel Corp. has reported a slowdown with server chips, Turner at IDC said he has not seen any conclusive evidence of a server-shipment slowdown during the first part of 2001. It appears that companies continue buying servers, he said.