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HP suffers from Oracle Itanium snub

Cliff Saran

Market data for global server shipments from Gartner shows HP sales suffered from Oracle's decision to drop support for Itanium chips.

Last year Oracle announced it would no longer develop its market-leading database server for the 64-bit Intel Itanium processor.

Oracle, which owns rival Unix server supplier, Sun Microsystems, was outside the top five suppliers, in Gartner's market share report.

Across the industry, server revenue declined 1.8% year-on-year, according to Gartner, with IBM taking the top spot as the biggest server manufacturer and HP at number two. 

IBM posted nearly $3.5bn in server revenue, taking 28.1% worldwide for the first quarter of 2012. IBM's server revenue declined 7.2%. Most of IBM’s revenue contribution came from its Power Systems brand with some contribution by System X as well, Gartner noted.

Overall, RISC/Itanium Unix revenue decreased 25.7% in the first quarter of 2012. Platform migrations continued but HP in particular was affected by Oracle’s withdrawal of support for Itanium. Although IBM continued to gain share in this segment, with an increase of almost 57 percentage points, its revenue declined 2.4%.

Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice-president at Gartner, said: “All regions showed growth in server shipments except Western Europe which posted a decline of 6.4%. In terms of revenue, Asia/Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Western Europe posted declines. 

"These results are not that surprising, considering the current variations in regional economic conditions.”

 “X86 servers forged ahead and grew 1.7% in units in the first quarter of 2012 and 5.6% in revenue. RISC/Itanium Unix servers declined 5%  in shipments and dropped 15.2% in vendor revenue compared to the same quarter last year. The ‘other’ CPU category, which is primarily mainframes, showed a decline of 16.4% in vendor revenue,” Hewitt said.

 “The EMEA server market has suffered a second consecutive quarter of volume decline and a third consecutive quarter of revenue decline,” said Adrian O’Connell, research director at Gartner.

“The economic environment continues to be a key factor limiting overall spending, but the structural changes in the European market for server infrastructure, as well as the lack of growth drivers seen in other regions, are causing the current challenges.”


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