Gateway takes on AMD Opteron to boost drive for server share

From a standstill position Gateway wants to snatch 4% of the server market by the end of this year and has enlisted AMD to help.

From a standstill position Gateway wants to snatch 4% of the server market by the end of this year and has enlisted AMD to help.

Part of parent company Acer Group, Gateway today rolled out the second phase of its server strategy following the December launch of tower, rack, blades and HPC systems based on Intel architecture.

Gianluca Degliesposti, global server business development vice president at the Acer Group, said the short term market share goal was "feasible".

"We are a car entering the high way and we see HP, IBM and Dell and the others, we need to keep [close] to them, stay behind them, understand what they are doing...but at some time you need to overtake them," he said.

The Gateway tower, rack and blade boxes based on AMD's Opteron 6100 line were unveiled at a conference in Milan, featuring 8 to 12 core x86 processors for the 2P and 4P server market.

The Taiwanese vendor has turned the notebook market on its head in the past six years to become the highest selling vendor in EMEA, using its low op-ex structure - 7,000 staff worldwide - to carve out its margin while undercutting rivals' prices.

Degliesposti said that following the initial roll out of its servers before Christmas, some competitors said Acer Group was looking to speed server commoditisation.

"Maybe its true, maybe its not but that is their problem more than our problem...the market is going to change dramatically," he warned

The rate of Gateway's rise in the server sector is likely to be relaitvely slower than its sister  company Acer experienced in the notebook space, as the dynamics of the market are different with customers more risk averse and less driven by price.

Gateway will need to cement its brand among resellers that still perceive it as a retail PC maker which had exited Europe years ago, was acquired by Acer and has struggled to make a dent in the market since it returned.

At the same time, it will need to contend with an ever changing server landscape, as the move towards consolidated virtualised infrastructures and the recent recession have dampened shipment growth, leaving vendors fighting over a smaller slice of the market.

IDC has forecast UK sales to remain largely flat in 2010 though its predictions for Western Europe are more optimistic.


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