Worldwide server sales fell to $13.66 bn in 2013, off 4.5 percent from 2012, and the current outlook calls for modest growth at best throughout the sector this year.
While total shipments actually improved 2.1 percent in for the year, the fourth quarter was especially bleak for top-tier vendors IBM, Oracle and Dell, according to Gartner's latest server report.
Big Blue, which sold its x86 server business to Lenovo last month for $2.3 billion, saw its server sales plunge 29 percent in the quarter and total server shipments tumbled 20.6 percent.
Oracle checked in with a 4.7 percent dip in server sales last quarter while Dell saw its server sales decline by 0.5 percent.
Of the top five global vendors, only HP and Cisco increased their server sales, up 6 percent and 34.5 percent, respectively.
"2013 presented some pronounced differences in various server market segments," Jeffrey Hewitt, a Gartner research vice president, said in the report. "In terms of hardware platform types, mainframe and RISC/Itanium Unix platform market performance kept overall revenue growth in check."
Gartner said x86 server shipments increased 3.8 percent while sales rose 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter.
Asia-Pacific led the way in total shipments for the fourth quarter, up 16.3 percent, while North America was essentially flat (0.01 percent). All regions declined in vendor revenue in the fourth quarter except Asia-Pacific, which gained 0.6 percent year over year.