A survey by IDC has shown that blade servers were among few highlights in a generally sluggish worldwide server market in the first quarter of 2006.
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IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker found that factory revenue in the worldwide server market declined 1.9% year on year to $11.9bn in the first quarter of 2006. In addition, worldwide server unit shipments growth dipped slightly to 9.5% in the first quarter of 2006 compared with the first quarter of 2005.
Yet despite the general gloom, the blade server market showed continued growth in the quarter, with factory revenue gaining 43.4% year on year and shipments increasing by 29.5%. Overall, the survey showed that blade servers - including both x86 and RISC blades - accounted for $591m worth of business in the first quarter, representing 5.0% of quarterly server market revenue.
IBM maintained the number one spot in the server blade market, with 40.1% market share, while HP maintained the number two position with 35.6% share. Dell holds the number three position with 11.1% share of factory blade revenues and growing nearly twice the rate for blades overall.
"In Q106 we saw a continuation of the migration from one-socket blades to two and four-socket," says Kelly Quinn, an IDC senior analyst.
"Increasingly, customers are seeing the business value in blades and identifying how useful two and four-socket blade servers can be, in both the consolidation of their existing IT activities as well as in support of new IT workloads."