Tech Trends Impact 2006 Server Shipments

Sales figures show demand for x86 and Unix servers softening, while mainframes post impressive gains.

February 24, 2007

2 Min Read
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Gartner released figures this week that show worldwide server shipments increased by 9 percent to exceed 8 million units in 2006.

The findings show that while the industry as a whole posted a 2 percent gain in revenues for the year, x86 servers slowed significantly in the fourth quarter. Gartner says the slowdown is directly related to companies putting off server purchases as they await the rollout of new multicore x86 systems.

Additionally, Gartner says virtualization of x86 environments is having an effect on demand as businesses can run more virtual servers on fewer physical machines.Unix server shipments were sluggish through 2006, according to Gartner, with shipments tumbling 1.6 percent and revenues sliding 0.8 percent last year versus 2005.

Mainframes posted the most impressive revenue gains of any segment, according to Gartner Dataquest figures, which show earnings from big iron growing 3.9 percent last year over the previous year's numbers.

Not surprisingly, mainframe mainstay IBM captured the biggest percentage of revenues last year. Big Blue grew its revenues by 1.7 percent. Sun also had a good year, reversing a four-year revenue share decline with a 1.2 increase in server earnings in 2006 over 2005. The company took in approximately 11 percent of all server revenues worldwide last year.

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