In a server market that showed a decline in year-on-year sales, blade servers continued to be popular in the EMEA market in 2005 according to a survey by IDC.
Looking broadly at IDC's EMEA Quarterly Server Tracker findings, factory revenue generated by server sales in the EMEA region dipped by 4.4% in the last quarter of 2005 compared to the same period in 2004.
Unit shipments, however, continued to show positive year-on-year growth at 11.6%. The total EMEA server market in the last quarter of 2005 recorded factory revenue of £2.8bn for an all-time high of 676,000 server system units shipped.
One reason cited for the decline in units on rising volumes is what IDC calls the stellar market growth in the x86 server segment, which more than compensated for what is described as tepid revenue performances seen in the RISC segment in both the mid-range and high-end.
Daniel Fleischer, senior research analyst for IDC's European Enterprise Server Solutions team, says, "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."
Server blades continued their strong growth, showing a 60.9% increase in the last quarter of 2005 compared with the same period in 2004. This growth rate was, however, lower than in previous quarters. IDC believes this is because most early adopters have now deployed project-based blade infrastructures. Even though suppliers are focused on populating pre-deployed blade chassis, IDC says power and cooling requirements of the dense form factor is having a negative effect on sales.
One highlight was the continued sales and increased market share of Opteron-based technology. IDC found that Opteron secured a good foothold in the blade market where performance per watt and higher memory footprint advantages play a role in clusters and back-end database applications.
Linux revenues continued to grow strongly at 24.7% across EMEA to represent 10.1% of total EMEA revenue. This growth was mirrored from a unit perspective, where there was a 32% increase over the same period in 2004. This represented 19.8% of all shipments in the last quarter of 2005.