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Of the top three Unix server vendors, IBM saw shipments fall 15.5 percent while revenue fell 2 percent; Oracle saw shipments fall 45.3 percent while revenue fell 35.5 percent; and Hewlett-Packard saw shipments fall 38.1 percent while revenue fell 28.2 percent, Gartner said.
However, thanks to high-performance computing and cloud infrastructure demand, sales of Linux servers rose 6.6 percent over those of last year to reach $2.6 billion, or about 21.5 percent of all server vendor revenue, Gartner estimated.
Chuck Bartlett, vice president and general manager for Tech Data's Advanced Infrastructure Solutions division, said his organization has over the six years since its founding built the capabilities needed to take advanced server and storage products to its midrange partners. There already is a strong untapped business for the high-end servers, especially for customers who have invested heavily in Linux, he added.
"It's important for IBM to have the ability to talk to partners about a wide range of requirements," Bartlett said. "If we're talking to an IBM System x partner, we don't want to stop the conversation if it moves toward Power-based servers. Tech Data can be there to facilitate the conversation."
The new relationship is an important addition to Ingram Micro's IBM portfolio as it gives the distributor a complete product line, said Scott Zahl, general manager and vice president of the distributor's Advanced Computing Division, which currently partners with HP on that company's Unix servers.
Ingram Micro will target the IBM Power-based servers at both Unix and Linux markets, Zahl said. "Ultimately, it will be the end user and partner community who will drive the platform focus," he said.