Click here to close now.


Microsoft Cloud Authors: Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Elizabeth White, Andreas Grabner, Jim Kaskade, Pat Romanski

News Feed Item

Worldwide Server Market Revenues Decline 4.0% in Third Quarter as Market Demand Remained Soft, According to IDC

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, factory revenue in the worldwide server market decreased 4.0% year over year to $12.2 billion in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12). This is the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue decline, as server market demand continued to soften following a strong refresh cycle that characterized the market in most of 2010 and 2011. After declining in 2Q12, server unit shipments increased 0.6% year over year in 3Q12 to 2.1 million units. This was the 11th time in the past 12 quarters that server units have grown on a year-over-year basis.

On a year-over-year basis, volume systems experienced a 0.5% revenue decline. At the same time, demand for midrange and high-end systems experienced year-over-year revenue declines of 14.0% and 8.9% respectively in 3Q12. All three segments were impacted by difficult year-over-year compares combined with transitions in the technology refresh cycles.

"Worldwide server revenue declined for the fourth consecutive quarter in 3Q12. The market was constrained by poor macro-economic conditions in many geographies coupled with a number of technology transitions that served to further hamper the market," said Matt Eastwood, group vice president and general manager, Enterprise Platforms at IDC. "In fact, every geographic region except Asia/Pacific experienced revenue contraction in the quarter. The growth in Asia/Pacific was largely driven by strong demand in China, which helped a China-based server vendor – Inspur – into a top 10 factory revenue position for the first time."

Overall Server Market Standings, by Vendor

IBM held the number 1 position in the worldwide server market with 28.7% factory revenue share for 3Q12. IBM experienced a 7.6% year-over-year decline in factory revenue losing 1.1 points of share in the quarter on soft demand for System z ahead of a recently announced product transition. HP held the number 2 position with 27.3% factory revenue share following an 11.9% year-over-year revenue decline in 3Q12. HP continued to experience declines in HP Integrity server demand combined with relatively weak performance in their x86-based ProLiant server business. Dell maintained third place with 17.1% factory revenue market share in 3Q12. Dell's factory revenue increased 8.2% compared to 3Q11, helping Dell to its highest server market share in any quarter. Oracle maintained the number 4 position with 4.8% factory revenue share; Oracle's 3Q12 factory revenue decreased 23.1% compared to 3Q11. Fujitsu ended the quarter in the number 5 market position with 3.8% factory revenue share following a 22.2% year-over-year decline in server revenue.

Top Server Market Findings

  • Linux server demand continued to be positively impacted by high performance computing (HPC) and cloud infrastructure deployments, as hardware revenue increased 6.6% year over year to $2.6 billion in 3Q12. Linux servers now represent 21.5% of all server revenue, up 2.1 points when compared with the third quarter of 2011.
  • Microsoft Windows server hardware demand was down 0.9% year over year in 3Q12 with quarterly server hardware revenue totaling $6.2 billion representing 51.1% of overall quarterly factory revenue, up 1.6 points over the prior year's quarter. This is the second time in the past three quarters that Windows has been responsible for driving more than half of all server spending worldwide.
  • Unix servers experienced a revenue decline of 14.2% year over year to $2.1 billion representing 17.3% of quarterly server revenue for the quarter, the lowest percentage of server spending in more than 10 years. IBM's Unix server revenue increased by a modest 0.8% year over year; however IBM still managed to gain 7.9 points of Unix server market share when compared with the third quarter of 2011.
  • The market for non-x86 servers, including servers based on RISC, EPIC (Itanium-based), and CISC processors, declined 17.1% year over year to $3.3 billion in 3Q12. This is the fifth consecutive quarter in which non-x86 servers have exhibited a revenue decline. Non-x86 based systems now comprise 27.0% of the server market, the lowest percentage of server spending ever recorded by IDC.

"The Unix server market continued to struggle ahead of year-end refresh cycles," said Kuba Stolarski, research manager, Enterprise Servers at IDC. "IDC expects a short-term easing in the high-end market's decline as technology refreshes, including Intel's Poulson update to its Itanium line, begin to take their course. However, mission critical applications continue to migrate to x86 platforms, placing increasing pressure on the high-end server market."

x86 Industry Standard Server Market Dynamics

Demand for x86 servers continued to improve in 3Q12, with revenues growing 2.0% in the quarter to $8.9 billion worldwide as unit shipments were up 1.5% to 2.1 million servers. HP led the market with 32.0% revenue share based on an 8.7% revenue decline when compared to 3Q11. Dell retained second place, securing 23.4% of revenue share while gaining 1.3 points of share when compared with the third quarter of 2011. IBM rounded out the top three positions, holding 16.5% revenue share following a 4.7% year-over-year revenue decline. Overall, this was the thirteenth time in the previous fourteen quarters with a year-over-year increase in average selling prices for x86 servers as both the mix of systems and average system configurations continue to move up-market, helped in part by the increased focus leading suppliers have on converged infrastructure.

Bladed Server Market Results

The blade market continued its solid growth in the quarter with factory revenue increasing 2.9% year over year and shipment growth declining by 1.1% compared to 3Q11. Overall, bladed servers, including x86, EPIC, and RISC blades, accounted for $2.1 billion in revenues, representing 17.2% of quarterly server market revenue, a record high. More than 91% of all blade revenue is driven by x86-based blades, which now represent 21.5% of all x86 server revenue. HP maintained the number 1 spot in the server blade market in 3Q12 with 45.9% revenue share, while IBM finished with 19.0% revenue share. Cisco and Dell rounded out the top 4 with 15.0% and 8.1% factory revenue share, respectively.

"Modular form factors continue to gain favor with server customers," said Jed Scaramella, research manager, Enterprise Servers at IDC. "Many enterprises are exploring converged systems, which are built on top of blades. These platforms present vendors with the opportunity to increase their customer share of wallet through the attached sale of storage, networking, and services. On the opposite side of the spectrum, large cloud datacenters and service providers value the efficiencies and scalability of density optimized servers. Together these two form factors account for 22.9% of server revenue, gaining 3.3 points from a year ago."

Top 5 Corporate Family, Worldwide Server Systems Factory Revenue, Third Quarter of 2012

(Revenues are in $ Millions)



3Q12 Market


3Q11 Market


1. IBM $3,502 28.7% $3,789 29.8% -7.6%
2. HP $3,339 27.3% $3,792 29.8% -11.9%
3. Dell $2,086 17.1% $1,929 15.2% 8.2%
4. Oracle $588 4.8% $764 6.0% -23.1%
5. Fujitsu $465 3.8% $598 4.7% -22.2%
Others $2,238 18.3% $1,854 14.6% 20.7%
All Vendors $12,219 100% $12,727 100% -4.0%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, November 2012.

In addition to the table above, a graphic showing the relative market shares of the top 5 server vendors for 3Q12 and 3Q11 is available at The chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this press release on

IDC's Server Taxonomy

IDC's Server Taxonomy maps the eleven price bands within the server market into three price ranges: volume servers, midrange servers and high-end servers. The revenue data presented in this release is stated as factory revenue for a server system. IDC presents data in factory revenue to determine market share position. Factory revenue represents those dollars recognized by multi-user system and server vendors for ISS and upgrade units sold through direct and indirect channels and includes the following embedded server components: Frame or cabinet and all cables, processors, memory, communications boards, operating system software, other bundled software and initial internal and external disk shipments.

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker is a quantitative tool for analyzing the global server market on a quarterly basis. The Tracker includes quarterly shipments (both ISS and upgrades) and revenues (both customer and factory), segmented by vendor, family, model, region, operating system, price band, CPU type, and architecture. For more information, please contact Lidice Fernandez at 305-351-3051 or [email protected].

About IDC Trackers

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 48 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in high-performance, high-efficiency server, storage technology and green computing, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and Embedded Systems worldwide. Supermi...
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete end-to-end walkthrough of the analysis from start to finish. Participants will also be given the pract...
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, will introduce the technologies required for implementing these ideas and some early experiments performed in the Kurento open source software community in areas ...
Electric power utilities face relentless pressure on their financial performance, and reducing distribution grid losses is one of the last untapped opportunities to meet their business goals. Combining IoT-enabled sensors and cloud-based data analytics, utilities now are able to find, quantify and reduce losses faster – and with a smaller IT footprint. Solutions exist using Internet-enabled sensors deployed temporarily at strategic locations within the distribution grid to measure actual line loads.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, will explore the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
There will be 20 billion IoT devices connected to the Internet soon. What if we could control these devices with our voice, mind, or gestures? What if we could teach these devices how to talk to each other? What if these devices could learn how to interact with us (and each other) to make our lives better? What if Jarvis was real? How can I gain these super powers? In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, will show you!
Today’s connected world is moving from devices towards things, what this means is that by using increasingly low cost sensors embedded in devices we can create many new use cases. These span across use cases in cities, vehicles, home, offices, factories, retail environments, worksites, health, logistics, and health. These use cases rely on ubiquitous connectivity and generate massive amounts of data at scale. These technologies enable new business opportunities, ways to optimize and automate, along with new ways to engage with users.
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, will keynote at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi's VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context w...