Challenging economic conditions led to a slight decline in the server market for the first quarter of this year, according to research firm Gartner, with only Dell and Cisco managing to increase their number of units shipped.
Worldwide server shipments declined by 0.7 percent compared with the same period last year, according to Gartner's figures. Broken down regionally, the US and Asia Pacific regions actually saw some growth, but this was offset by a drop in other regions such as EMEA where shipments fell by 6.8 percent.
Gartner found that x86 server growth was flat during the quarter, while RISC and Itanium Unix servers saw shipments drop 38.8 percent.
Among the top server vendors, only Dell and Cisco saw an increase in shipments, with Dell growing by 2.6 percent while Cisco managed an impressive 33 percent increase.
However, Cisco still only has a relatively small share of the market compared with the leader, HP, shipping 53,873 servers in contrast to HP's figure of 580,563 for the quarter.
HP was beaten on revenue by IBM, which pulled in just over $3 billion in server revenue for the quarter, although this was down by 13.6 percent compared with the same period last year. A consolation for IBM is that revenue from mainframes increased by 3.6 percent.
Gartner blamed the decline in shipments on restricted budgets and said that infrastructure spending is not seen as a high priority for many organisations at the moment.
Gartner research director Adrian O'Connell said: "The reality for server vendors is that spending levels are very low and there is severe weakness in the high-end segment. There are still areas of opportunity, but vendors need to be agile and focused on addressing them. The outlook for 2013 remains challenging."
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