Server shipments increased by 11 per cent in the third quarter of this year, according to analyst firm IDC.
The firm's Enterprise Servers: Technology Markets service said that revenues had grown by almost $11bn year on year for the second quarter in a row, and added that this latest three-month period had seen the fastest quarterly growth since 2003.
In addition, shipments increased by almost a quarter since 2009.
Mid-range servers were the biggest sellers, IDC said, suggesting that mid-sized enterprises that had delayed purchases during the toughest part of the recession were now ready to invest in new kit.
Sales of mid-range servers – systems priced from $25,000 to $250,000 – grew by 15.6 per cent, while high-end shipments fell by around a quarter compared with the first three months of the year.
HP took the number one position for shipments, with a 33 per cent revenue share. Its strong showing was largely down to healthy demand for its x86 ProLiant servers, IDC said.
Matt Eastwood, group vice president, enterprise platforms at IDC, said that widespread infrastructure refresh is still occurring across all geographies.
"While much of this refresh is occurring first in x86-based servers, we expect the recovery to extend to Unix and mainframe platforms in the second half of 2010," he added.
"That said, it is clear that a wave of migration is also occurring as customers broaden their deployment of x86-based servers to a wider range of workloads."
IBM came second in the server stakes having suffered a dip in its revenues of 3.2 per cent. Like HP it saw growth in x86 shipments, but was let down by its Power Systems and System z servers – here IDC said users were waiting for product refreshes before re-investing.
Dell was in third place, gaining three percentage points thanks to strong demand for its servers from enterprise customers, while Oracle’s 8.6 per cent market share kept it in fourth place.
The x86 effect extended to the Windows server market, which saw revenues increase by 6.7 per cent and shipments grow by 28 per cent. Linux server demand was also strong, with revenues up 30 per cent to $1.8bn.
The market for non-x86 servers fell by 16 per cent year on year to $3.9bn.
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