Blade server sales jump, Gartner says

Blade server shipments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa jumped by a healthy 61.4 percent in the second quarter, helping the server market overall to increase by a steady 9 percent, according to new Gartner Inc. research.

X86 servers also reported steady gains, with unit shipments increasing 10.4 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Servers based on RISC and Intel Corp.’s Itanium chips didn’t fare as well, with shipments falling 3.1 percent and revenue dropping 5.1 percent in the quarter.

While Hewlett-Packard Co. retained its number one position in shipments, reaching 224 million units and growing 15.5 percent during the quarter, the number two spot changed. IBM Corp. sold just over 1,000 more servers then Dell Inc. to become the second-largest server maker in the region. Dell had held the number two position after the first quarter.

While unit shipments grew for the big vendors, revenue didn’t. Server revenue declined by 0.1 percent compared to the second quarter last year, totaling US$3.9 billion, Gartner found. Dell, in fourth place in terms of revenue, grew revenue by 11.3 percent during the quarter, the most of any of the major suppliers. Hewlett-Packard revenue dropped 0.1 percent, IBM gained 1.7 percent and Sun Microsystems Inc. grew 8.5 percent.

Eastern and Western Europe produced very small revenue growth, while revenue from server sales in the Middle East and Africa declined by 6 percent.