Dell, Cisco Pummel Competition In 1Q Server Market: Gartner

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The biggest part of the market, the x86-based server business, saw server shipments basically flat from last year at 2.3 million units, while revenue for this part of the business rose 1.8 percent.

HP remained the leader of the x86 server business, with a 25.1-percent share of shipments and 29.1-percent share of revenue. However, the company experienced a 15 percent drop in shipments over last year to 576,835 servers, which lead to a 10.9 percent drop in server revenue to 2.6 billion.

Dell's x86 server shipments, on the other hand, rose 2.6 percent to 516,355 units, pushing revenue for the quarter 14.4 percent to $2.1 billion.

IBM maintained its third-place position in the x86 server market with shipments of 212,516 million units, down 13.6 percent over last year. That equaled about $1.2 billion in revenue, down 9.1 percent. Should IBM's reported sale of part of its x86 server business to China-based Lenovo prove true, IBM could drop out of the top five x86 server vendors.

Cisco is the No. 4 x86 server vendor in terms of revenue, which rose a big 34.3 percent over last year to $450 million. However, the fourth spot in terms of shipments was taken by the self-build and ODM server vendors whose cloud and Internet infrastructure business caused their shipments to rise 34.7 percent to 167,200 units.

"We're seeing increasing competition from Cisco," Gartner's Hewitt said. "They're in every data center in the world. Offering Cisco servers is, and I really hate to use the analogy, as easy as asking, 'Do you want fries with that?' But they're also executing. Cisco is working with storage vendors EMC and NetApp."

The self-build and ODM vendors also took the No. 5 position with revenue of $434 million, up 34.5 percent over last year. Sales of competing servers from Dell and HP are included in those vendors' numbers, Hewitt said. "Dell has been selling to companies like Microsoft with scalable data centers and is used to high-volume market," he said.

HP's server sales are down in part because of a reorganization of its server business, Hewitt said. "HP has set the expectations that it is time to go forward and to get some market traction," he said.

NEXT: RISC/Itanium Server Market Continues To Plummet

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