Hewlett-Packard's global server shipment units dropped significantly in the second quarter, according to preliminary data from research firm Gartner, but it's unclear which vendor is gaining the bulk of the share at this juncture. What is clear is that no single top-tier competitor seems to be grabbing the lion's share of HP's loss.
According to preliminary data obtained by CRN ahead of Gartner's official release, HP has lost share for a second straight quarter. Gartner declined to comment on the data.
Market-research firm IDC, which releases preliminary server share numbers next week, said its early results confirm the Gartner trend.
Matt Eastwood, group vice president of enterprise platform research for IDC, said HP is hurting from trends in the marketplace including a move away from traditional rack and blade servers toward servers running hyperscale data centers.
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HP global server unit shipments dropped by 13.5 percent year over year, according to the preliminary Gartner data. CRN independently confirmed Gartner's preliminary numbers; however, the market-research firm won't officially release server market share data until next month and declined to participate in this story.
HP declined to comment on the preliminary Gartner server unit data.
Gartner server unit shipment share data obtained by CRN shows HP maintaining its No. 1 server position globally, ahead of Dell and IBM. Dell placed second in terms of global unit shipments, with a 1.7 percent year-over-year increase in shipments.
The HP server unit share declines comes with Dell, HP and other server vendors battling for share in a global market that is essentially flat.
In the first quarter, HP experienced a 15 percent drop in shipments year over year to 576,835 servers, according to the final Gartner data. In contrast, Dell's unit server shipment for the same period was up 2.6 percent, according to the final Gartner data.
Server unit sales gains in China by Lenovo and Huawei have hurt HP because of that country's push to get Chinese companies to buy from local suppliers, said a source briefed on the preliminary Gartner data. Dell, meanwhile, experienced key wins in Europe, the source said.
The Chinese server market has grown 21.6 percent year over year, according to Gartner data obtained by CRN. Gains are due to sales to big Internet companies, sources said.
The second biggest server market gains were in Asia-Pacific with 9.9 percent year-to-year growth, according to Gartner numbers obtained by CRN.
"Amazon, Microsoft and Google are all buying low-cost, energy-efficient and high-density servers," IDC's Eastwood said. "Dell did a great job spotting that market and creating a Data Centers Solutions Group sales channel. HP has been slower to adapt."
However, Eastwood said, Dell may have unit sales bragging rights but "for every one traditional blade server HP sells, Dell has to sell four hyperscale servers to match revenue."
Jason Davidson, director of business operations at UltraLevel, a Detroit-based Dell partner, said UltraLevel is impressed with Dell's highly configurable and space-efficient servers, which require less power to cool. "Dell has put a lot R&D into manageability and it's paid off," Davidson said.
"Hyperscale and density-optimized server sales are growing like gangbusters," said Forrest Norrord, Dell's vice president of servers. Norrord credited market-share gains to sales of 12th-generation PowerEdge servers and hyperscale server market growth.
PUBLISHED JULY 29, 2013