Unix will continue to gain market share at the high end of the server market at the expense of other systems, with demand driven primarily by ecommerce and the increased use of handheld devices to access corporate data.
While the Internet is driving demand across the entire market, enhancements to Unix at the high end such as the addition of systems management software previously only available in the mainframe world, is spurring organisations on to replace older proprietary systems, according to Steve Josselyn, research director at IDC's commercial systems and servers unit.
At the firm's Systems Market Outlook conference in Redwood City this week, he said: "The growth in online transaction processing systems is being driven by the Web. The stability and resilience of these high end platforms also make them good for the move to recentralisation and Unix offers greater flexibility than proprietary systems for dealing with multiple workloads, which is good if users are looking at server consolidation."
As a result, while IBM's S/390 mainframe still has a 35 per cent market share at the high end, with Unix trailing at only 17 per cent, Unix is likely to grow its share of the sector to 30 per cent by 2003. This will occur at the expense of other mainframe vendors such as Hitachi and Amdahl, which will suffer from pricing pressures.
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