Even though there have never been so many servers in use in the EMEA region, spending on the devices is showing signs of diminishing, according to IDC's EMEA Quarterly Server Tracker findings.
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The latest report shows that after 10 consecutive quarters posting positive annual growth, the EMEA server market ended the last quarter of 2005 at £2.8bn - a 4.4% decline in factory revenue generated by server sales compared to the last quarter of 2004. Despite this, unit shipments grew by 11.6% to reach an all-time high of 676,000 in the same period.
"Over recent years, corporate refreshes and renewed IT investment fuelled stellar market growth in the x86 server segment, which more than compensated for the tepid revenue performances seen in the RISC segment," says Nathaniel Martinez, program manager for IDC's EMEA Server Solutions team.
"Server consolidation, infrastructure rationalisation and IT simplification continue to be top priorities for most organisations following the proliferation of scale-out architecture servers in the datacentre," adds Daniel Fleischer, senior research analyst for IDC's European Enterprise Server Solutions team.
IBM was the number one supplier in the survey, posting £600m in revenue after exhibiting 60.5% sequential revenue growth. HP, one of only two companies to exhibit annual growth in the quarter, came second, with Sun Microsystems third, Dell fourth and Fujitsu Siemens fifth.
Stand out trends for the quarter included continued strong growth for blade servers, which displayed a 60.9% increase in revenue over the last quarter of 2004.This growth rate is lower than in previous quarters as, reasons IDC, most early adopters have now deployed project-based blade infrastructure. Opteron chip-based server sales displayed rapid growth and increased share accordingly, especially in the blade market.
Linux revenues and shipments grew strongly at 24.7% and 32% respectively to represent 10.1% of total EMEA revenue and 19.8% of all shipments in the last quarter of 2005. Windows server revenues closed the gap on Unix servers, growing year on year by 3.8% to grab 32.6% revenue share compared to an 11.2% annual revenue decline to 34.9% revenue share for Unix.