PC servers continued their relentless drive into the corporate sector in 2004, according to the latest fourth-quarter and year-end figures from IDC.
The analyst found that the business shift towards x86 servers resulted in shipments growing by 15.3 per cent year on year and a factory revenue hike of 17.8 per cent.
The growth in blades and rack-optimised servers showed that modular server environments are becoming the favoured customer choice, IDC claimed. The server blade market saw shipments rocket by 86.2 per cent over the year and factory revenues increase by 80 per cent.
Daniel Fleischer, senior analyst at IDC European Enterprise Servers, said: "While x86 pedestal/tower servers virtually stagnated, blade server shipment growth of 79.3 per cent and rack-optimised server growth of 27.8 per cent highlight this transition in IT environments, as well as in the implementation of large IT projects."
Overall, factory revenue in the EMEA server market grew by three per cent in Q4 compared with Q3, while system shipments rose by 15.3 per cent on the same period in 2003 to almost 605,000.
The EMEA server arena continued to benefit from the weak dollar, renewed spending on large IT infrastructure projects, continuing demand in the SME sector and strong revenue growth in the region. Aggressive pricing also helped boost growth.
Carl Greener, head of category for Hewlett-Packard (HP) at Ingram Micro, said: "In terms of Ingram in the UK, we also enjoyed a good year in relation to server unit sales and revenues, mainly in the low-end and mid-range segments. We also noted more activity and enquiries from the SME sector regarding both blade technology and rack-mounted arrays."
IBM topped the EMEA server chart in revenue terms for 2004 with 33.8 per cent market share. HP held onto second place with 29.5 per cent share, unchanged from 2003. The other key players were Sun (11.8 per cent), Fujitsu Siemens (7.7 per cent) and Dell (6.8 per cent).
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