According to IDC's Quarterly Server Tracker, EMEA sales of servers in 3Q06 posted positive annual growth in both revenue and units for the first time in a year, partly due to renewed mainfraime and RISC upgrade activity across multiple sectors in Western Europe.
The year-on-year revenue growth rate hit the 5% mark to total $3,926 million, with shipments growing a moderate 1% over the same period a year ago, to 558,000 units.
This trend reflects a positive departure from a 2006 server landscape of shrinking ASPs and negative revenues in a unit growth market.
A closer analysis by sub-region reveals changing market dynamics. Western Europe exhibited the biggest revenue growth in two years, with sales reaching $3,239 million.
"The last time the Western European server market showed a revenue growth of 5%, shipments increased 20% simultaneously, whereas this quarter revenues went up in an environment of flat unit growth, signaling wider profit margins and a stronger market," said Beatriz Valle, IDC research analyst.
Central and Eastern Europe, a market that until now showed unabated momentum, displayed marginal revenue decline, with sales decreasing by $1 million despite 9% growth in shipments.
IDC Top Server Market Findings
Sales of high-end enterprise servers generated $854 million, a 14% increase over the year-ago period. Revenue from the volume segment grew just 1%, while midrange systems experienced partial recovery with annual growth of 5%.
Windows continues as the top operating system, with 35% of revenue, one point ahead of Unix. Both operating systems have quasi-flat revenue growth compared to the same quarter last year, while Linux, which keeps its 12% share of the market, grew 23% over the year-ago period.
Revenue from x86-64 bit systems grew 64% annually, reaching a market share of 46%, with $3,926 million in sales. This type of system showed spectacular growth, particularly outside Western Europe.
Blade servers saw their revenue go up 45% from $158 million in 3Q05 to $229 million this quarter, increasing their market share to 6%. Non-rack servers remain at the top with 51% of total sales.
Opteron grew 147% annually but was outperformed by PA-RISC with a spectacular rate of 250% sales growth over the year-ago period. Sun's SPARC IV also did well with an increase of 56%.
IDC Market Findings by Vendor
Thanks to the z Series, IBM regained the top revenue position in EMEA and is now ahead of HP with an additional 3% market share. The p Series also did well with a revenue growth of 18%.
Integrity proves its potential for HP with an annual revenue increase of 25% and a 12% share of the vendor's total sales, while sales of Proliant servers grew by 4%.
Sun continues its comeback with revenue from high-end Ultra servers growing 98%. The SunFire line went up 27% in sales over the year-ago period.
As the only pure x86 top tier player, Dell increased its revenue by 7% but lost its fourth position held in the last quarter to Fujitsu Siemens by just $3 million in sales.