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High-Performance Tech Server Market Grew 30 Percent In 2004

The high-performance technical server market -- including those tagged for clustering and/or supercomputing -- has rebounded from three relatively fallow years, growing 30 percent in 2004 over the prior year, according to market research firm IDC.

Servers used in clusters did particularly well, with clustering system from high-end vendors comprising nearly half of the overall HPC market in the fourth quarter of 2004. The assessment of the server market by IDC, released Tuesday, also found that low-end servers for the technical market, priced at less than $50,000, did well in 2004, showing 65 percent growth over 2003.

The overall market for high-performance servers should level off somewhat, seeing moderate growth over the next couple of years, said IDC officials.

"Future growth of the HPC market will be more moderate than in 2004, as customers follow the traditional path of adopting evolving technologies," said Chris Willard, vice president of technical computing systems at IDC. "But IDC expects stronger growth to continue for clusters and low-end servers, as hardware and software technologies for these products continue to improve."

The study assessed the growth of servers aimed primarily at academic use, enterprise research and development, and other markets with high-performance computational needs such as engineering and life sciences.

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