Hewlett-Packard once again bested rival Dell for the top spot in the worldwide server market, according to Gartner's fourth-quarter 2013 preliminary worldwide shipment estimates viewed by CRN.
HP's worldwide server shipments were up 9.5 percent year over year in the fourth quarter compared to a 5.4 percent drop in shipments for Dell and a 19.8 percent drop in shipments for IBM, according to Gartner preliminary worldwide shipment estimates.
Overall, worldwide server shipments for the x86 server market were up 3.8 percent, Gartner estimated.
HP's worldwide server shipment share for the fourth quarter was 28.2 percent, up 1.4 percent from the same quarter one year ago, according to Gartner preliminary estimates.
HP's server shipment increase in the fourth quarter marks the second consecutive quarter of HP shipment gains after a slump of eight consecutive quarterly shipment declines.
Dell's worldwide server shipment share for the fourth quarter was 19.8 percent, down 1.9 percent from the same quarter one year ago, according to Gartner preliminary estimates.
IBM's worldwide server shipment share for the fourth quarter was 8.3 percent, down 2.5 percent from the same quarter one year ago, according to Gartner preliminary estimates.
The HP gains come at a time of major upheavals in the server industry.
The company's primary competitor Dell in October finished a protracted fight to become a private company in a $24.9 billion leveraged buyout to refocus itself on the enterprise and move away from its traditional PC business.
IBM, meanwhile, just agreed to sell its x86 server business to Lenovo in a $2.3 billion deal that has been expected for nearly a year.
The growth of HP's server business at the expense of its two primary competitors is no surprise to Rich Baldwin, CIO and chief strategy officer at Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider and long-time HP partner.
"I'm seeing long-term Dell customers looking at HP servers," Baldwin said. "I'm not sure if they've lost confidence in Dell. But I am seeing several of them looking at HP for the first time."
Nth seldom competes with IBM servers, Baldwin said, so he is not sure how Lenovo's purchase of IBM's x86 server business will impact HP's server business yet.
"Lenovo in part focuses on low cost, but data centers don't care much about cost," Baldwin said. "Data centers are looking for more reliability. So this should open some doors in IBM shops. One customer of ours with an IBM infrastructure just ordered its first HP blade servers from us recently."
NEXT: HP Business Stabilized As Dell, IBM In Throes Of Change