Server Market Figures Greeted With Different Interpretations

Vendors scramble for top spot

With the release of each report on industry market share, vendors scramble to claim the top spot. IBM Corp. and Sun Microsystems, Inc. both cut data from a Gartner Inc. report to bray about their market position.

Gartner Dataquest's fourth quarter US Server DatabaseReport tracks vendors and server revenues in the United States. Its scoperanges from commodity Intel-based servers to mainframes, giving vendors wiggleroom to claim the top spot in sundry market segments.

An IBM announcement trumpeted its dominance in theoverall server market. It says IBM was the only server vendor to grow marketshare in terms of revenue year-over-year. According the report, IBM now claims29.3% of all server revenue, an 8% jump over last year.

The slowing economy has exacted a heavy toll on servervendors, and no major vendor, including IBM grew actual server revenue.

The Intel-based server market was one of the hardesthit sectors, but IBM posted gains in market share. Big Blue now claims 12.4% ofrevenue in a segment dominated by the likes of Compaq and Dell.

The Unix market is particularly key for IBM, and itcontinued its public relations battle with Sun. It claimed a year-over-yearincrease of 3.1% in share.

For its part, Sun remains the leader in the Unixmarket. While IBM may have grabbed a slightly larger piece of the pie, Sungobbled up the most. Sun – which specializes in Unix/RISC servers – took 68.5%of the revenue in the space. “We’re winning competitively in the marketplace,”says Chris Kruell, group marketing manager for Sun hardware.

An IBM spokesperson was not available in time forpublication.

Kruell says there is little room for other vendors inhigh-end server. “Essentially, there’s two players left in the Datacenter – IBMand Sun,” he says.

“People need to be more aware of Sun’s presence because we offer a more cost-effective alternative to the legacy mainframe,” Kruell says. He believes that Sun competes favorably with both IBM’s Unix line and its mainframe.

About the Author

Chris McConnell is Product and Technology Editor for Enterprise Systems.