IBM, HP remain in statistical tie for server lead

IBM System z sales surge, Windows Server shipments dominate and the server race will get real interesting in the next few months.

IBM and HP remained No. 1 and No. 2 in the server market for the second quarter, but the two rivals remain in a statistical tie, according to IDC data.

Overall, IDC said that global server revenue was $13.2 billion in the second quarter, up 17.9 percent from a year ago. The statistics indicate that the corporate upgrade cycle remained strong in the quarter, which ended June 30. However, since the second quarter ended the financial markets have gone into a tailspin and companies such as Cisco, HP, NetApp and Dell have spoken of an uncertain macroeconomic picture. That upheaval will make the third quarter server standings more interesting.

Big Blue is showing strong growth in the server market as revenue surged 24.5 percent in the second quarter compared to a year ago. IBM had 30.5 percent market share courtesy of its System z sales. HP had 29.8 percent of the market.

Here's a look at the scorecard:

Among the other key data points:

  • Oracle second quarter server revenue was up 4.2 percent from a year ago. Most of those gains were due to Exadata systems. Fujitsu's big gains in the second quarter were attributed to the rollout of Japan's K-computer, a high performance supercomputer.
  • Microsoft Windows server revenue was up 12.4 percent in the second quarter for a total sales tally of $5.9 billion. Windows Servers represent 45.5 percent of second quarter revenue and 71 percent of server shipments.
  • Non-x86 servers showed the most growth in the second quarter, up 23.3 percent from a year ago to $4.8 billion. Non-x86 servers include servers based on RISC, Itanium and CISC processors. IBM's mainframes fueled this category's surge.
  • Unix server revenue was up 1.5 percent in the quarter to $3.9 billion. Unix represents 22 percent of all server revenue.
  • IBM System z systems saw revenue jump 47.5 percent in the second quarter to $2.7 billion. Linux servers were 20.5 percent of all server revenue.