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Linux sales dip as corporates buy more mainframes

Sales of Linux-based servers decreased by 1.8% over the year, the first time this operating system has suffered a dip in revenue since the first quarter of 2002, according to analyst IDC's second quarter EMEA Quarterly Server Tracker 2008.

Beatriz Valle, research analyst at IDC, said, "Corporates have been replacing their legacy systems and they have not been migrating to Linux x86 servers." Instead, she said enterprise users have been buying scalable Risc and Itanium-based hardware and mainframes.

The sales figures also show that IT directors are struggling to make the most of whatever budget is left over at the end of the year. Sales of high-end servers and IBM z-series mainframes were particularly high, suggesting that IT directors in major companies used their remaining budget in the last quarter of 2007 to buy mainframes and other high priced server hardware.

During the quarter, sales of IBM's System z mainframes grew 47.3%, while Fujitsu Siemens' BS2000 mainframes grew 21.5% demonstrating that users were not replacing legacy mainframes with Unix, Linxu and Windows-based servers.

Valle said, "These are uncertain times and IT managers are expecting their budgets to be squeezed even more in the coming quarters."

She said businesses were buying these big server boxes to support scalability and virtualisation. "Companies still see scalable servers with high availability as a future-proof investment, while they wait for virtualisation on x86 to mature further."

Overall, HP sold the most servers with a revenue of £6.3bn IBM was second with £800m Sun was third with £316m and Dell was fourth with £233m in server sales.


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