According to IDC’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, volume server revenue is continuing to represent the only growth segment for the server market overall.
The survey found that factory revenue in the worldwide server market grew at 0.6% year on year to reach $12.3bn in the second quarter 2006, marking a return to positive overall revenue growth for the first time since the third quarter last year. Volume server revenue grew 6.2% year on year, representing this beacon of hope for the overall server market. Unit shipment growth grew 8.3% year on year in the second quarter 2006, the eighth consecutive quarter of slowing overall shipment growth.
IDC says the trend reflects moderating unit growth in the volume server segment, as comparisons with year-ago quarters become more difficult and as server virtualisation gains a foothold with mainstream IT users.
The research company also found that even though the brakes have been applied to the growth of the Linux market, such technology accounted for 12% of all server revenue. Unix servers experienced 1.6% revenue decline year on year as unit shipments declined 1.8% when compared with the second quarter 2005. Worldwide, Unix revenues were $4.3bn for the quarter, representing 35% of quarterly server spending and reflecting continued IT investment.
Windows servers showed positive growth as revenues grew 3.1% and unit shipments grew 11% year on year. IDC says that customers are deploying more fully configured Windows servers as part of server consolidation and virtualisation initiatives, which is going some way toward driving this growth.
The much criticised Itanium-based systems market actually grew 36.4% year on year, generating more than $740m in revenue for the quarter and now representing 11.7% of all non-x86 server revenue. In the x86 market segment, AMD’s Opteron processor accounted for 20.2% of all worldwide x86 server revenue for the first time in the second quarter 2006.