Q3 server shipments soar, HP out in front: Gartner

Q3 server shipments soar, HP out in front: Gartner

Server shipments grew 20 per cent in the third quarter as compared to last year's third quarter, as the industry rebounds to a level of growth not seen since the fourth quarter of 2000, Gartner.

Vendors shipped a total of 1.37 million units in the quarter, the market research firm said. Hewlett-Packard (HP) led the way with 408,290 units shipped worldwide, a 21 per cent increase over its total shipments in last year's third quarter.

Dell shipped 276,350 units worldwide in the third quarter, up 28 per cent from last year. IBM came in third place with 220,083 units, up 36 per cent over last year's third-quarter total.

Sun Microsystems continued to lose ground, shipping 59,692 units in the quarter, down 2.9 per cent from last year's third quarter.

These numbers reflect the shipments of RISC (reduced instruction set computing) servers as well as servers that use processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). HP and IBM sell both types of servers, while Dell only sells Intel-based servers and Sun mostly sells servers based on its Sparc processors. Sun recently introduced a line of blade servers based on Intel processors.

Servers based on Intel and AMD chips are generally less expensive than RISC servers and run Microsoft's Windows or a version of the Linux operating system.

Intel's Xeon processors dominate the market for Windows and Linux servers. HP again paced the field with shipments of 389,795 units worldwide in the quarter. Dell's 276,350 units were good for second place, while IBM shipped 190,971 units to claim third place in this category.

RISC servers generally are more powerful and more expensive, but represent a fraction of the overall market. Worldwide, the Intel/AMD market accounted for 1.26 million units in the third quarter, or 92 per cent of the overall market.

Server shipments have risen steadily this year after tepid growth in 2002 and contraction in the second half of 2001. The last time the server industry posted a year-on-year growth rate of more than 20 per cent was in the fourth quarter of 2000, when the market grew 32.3 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 1999, Gartner said.

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