Server shipments grew 20% in the third quarter compared with the same period as last year, said Gartner, as the industry rebounds to a level of growth not seen since the fourth quarter of 2000.
A total of 1.37 million units were shipped in the quarter, Gartner said, with Hewlett-Packard leading the way with 408,290 units shipped worldwide, a 21% increase over its total shipments in last year's third quarter.
Dell shipped 276,350 units worldwide in the third quarter, up 28% from last year. IBM came third with 220,083 units, up 36% over last year.
Sun Microsystems continued to lose ground, shipping 59,692 units in the quarter, down 2.9% from last year's third quarter.
These numbers reflect the shipments of Risc (reduced instruction set computing) servers as well as servers which use processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. HP and IBM sell both types of servers, while Dell only sells Intel-based servers and Sun mostly sells servers based on its Sparc processors. Sun recently introduced a line of blade servers based on Intel processors.
Servers based on Intel and AMD chips are generally less expensive than Risc servers and run Microsoft Windows or a version of the Linux operating system.
Intel's Xeon processors dominate the market for Windows and Linux servers. HP again paced the field with shipments of 389,795 units worldwide in the quarter. Dell's 276,350 units were good for second place, while IBM shipped 190,971 units to claim third place in this category.
Risc servers generally are more powerful and more expensive, but represent only a fraction of the overall market. Worldwide, the Intel/AMD market accounted for 1.26 million units in the third quarter, or 92% of the overall market.
Server shipments have risen steadily this year after tepid growth in 2002 and contraction in the second half of 2001. The last time the server industry posted a year-on-year growth rate of more than 20% was in the fourth quarter of 2000, when the market grew 32.3%compared to the fourth quarter of 1999, Gartner said.
Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service