The analysts at Gartner have reexamined the server patient, and they can confirm it's still sick. Last week, IDC recently released its numbers for Q4 and all of 2008, and now it's Gartner's turn. Gartner reckons that global server sales plummeted by 15.1 per cent in the final quarter of 2008, to $13.1 billion, with shipments …
Do I hear him coming? Yep, here he comes...
Here he comes... I can hear him Trolling around now... Come on boy... Here boy...
Don't taunt that silly man...
...He'll be here mentally masturbating soon enough.
But seriously, there are no surprises here. Everyone expected this downturn and the smart vendors prepared for it. IBM will be able to weather the next year the best. HP has a bit more of a problem because their costs are too high, they have the square EDS peg to pount into their round hole, and too much of their revenue stream is from low margin gear. I think we can expect to see some significant layoffs at HP this year. Dell? Did someone say Dell? It's going to be interesting to see if they can ride this out. Sun is, well, no longer much of a consideration. Sun will be owned by someone else this time next year. They simply don't have the cash to see them through.
RE: Do I hear him coming? Yep, here he comes...
Yeah, where is Dave Halko?
So Sun has largest unit share, but IBM has largest $ share?
Either IBM is selling at significantly higher prices/margins or they are focusing on the higher end of the Unix space.
Heart, because someone out there somewhere still loves Unix.
x86 Market - who will wither and who will survive
HP will hang in there, due to #1 market share, commanding blades lead and EDS to prop up sales. They are #1 in world by volume and the workhorse of the space - the DL380 - continues to thrive. HP continues to build out its blade offering, which is porting more customers from rack-dense formats to blades, even if there's perceived value , but a lack of actual value in doing so.
Value customers may take a look at Dell, which are lower acquisition cost and TCO but that's about it.
IBM has been #3 for a while now and - despite significant declines in share this time around - they will survive, due to this being their Sideshow Bob to their Unix/Mainframe Krusty the Clown. Rather, it fills out the portfolio when they are selling services/software for those shops that insist upon remaining all IBM shops. IBM Global Services and their blades legacy will continue to help them maintain some share, but the EDS-HP tie up will become a greater challenge.
Dell too will persist, as they have nothing else other than x86 and it's their bread and butter. Dell has a strong rack dense portfolio, probably their strongest ever. Thus, I expect to see them gain modestly in blades market share and perhaps grow in less mature markets, but stand still in overall x86 share in the established countries (USA, UK, Canada, etc.). I don't think they have their channel business correct at this point, which will hamper incremental growth outside of direct sales.
Rackable looks to be very sick - their business is down and their customer base is being eaten by Dell's DCS business. Verari are on their heels too, it appears.
Sun's going to struggle to maintain relevance in the x86 space and I think that they will be snapped up by another company within 12 months.
Unisys appears to be getting out of the Itanium market, which was small and getting smaller. A lot of their range is rebranded Dell servers, which really don't make sense. NEC, Fujitsu each have a good domestic business and some holding in the financial services spaces, amongst others. I expect that their share will stay consistent with the ebb and flow of the overall market.
What's the biggest threat? Cisco's California line. Where will it be targeted? Who will be interested? Where will it resonate? I think HP has the most to lose here, although the whole space will be bloodied if Cisco gets this right.
Paris, because she's nice to look at, even if she's not rack dense.