Hewlett Packard and Dell showed the largest gains in the server market, eating away at Sun Microsystems and IBM.
According to sales figures from Gartner Dataquest for the first quarter of 2005, the overall growth of server sales levelled off to 4.1 per cent, the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2003. Overall server sales reached $12.3bn for the quarter.
IBM is still the largest server vendor in terms of revenue for the overall market. But the company saw its share shrink from 30.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2004 to 29.8 per cent this year.
Number two HP inched closer, increasing its share to 29.1 per cent while showing a 13.1 per cent increase in sales. Dell claimed the number three spot with 10.8 per cent. Dell surpassed Sun which now holds the fourth place with 9.5 per cent market share.
The Gartner data showed a continuing trend of companies moving to industry standard x86 servers using Intel's Xeon or AMD's Opteron. The push is largely caused by organisations embracing Linux on x86 hardware, replacing more expensive Unix servers.
Sales in the x86 segment increased by 9.4 per cent. Sales of Unix servers grew only 1.5 per cent.
Sun still relies heavily on its Unix business, but is making headway in the x86 market where it saw sales grow by 274 per cent. The vendor recently launched its line of x86 servers and still is far behind the market leaders with a paltry one per cent market share.
HP commandeered the x86 market with a 34.3 per cent share as it increased its lead over Dell (21.9 per cent) and IBM (16.2 per cent).
IBM strengthened its hold on the Unix market, increasing sales by 12 per cent to a 30.3 per cent share. Runners up HP (28.7 per cent) and Sun (27.8 per cent) were confronted with declining sales and Sun lost the number two spot to HP.
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