Server vendors offered sliver of hope from Australia

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Server vendors offered sliver of hope from Australia

Government stimulus plan tipped as main driver for growth.

Australia has bucked global trends in terms of server shipments.

Gartner has recorded a 29.4 percent decline in revenue in the second quarter of 2009 for worldwide server shipments, but found a silver lining in its gloomy report.

From the worldwide figures, Gartner said Asia Pacific continued its downward trend in server shipments with 17.2 percent year on year decline, with shipments totaling 323,388 units.

Although Australia had a slight revenue decline of 2.5 percent year-on-year, it doubled from 1Q 2009.

Erica Gadjuli, principal research analyst at Gartner told iTnews she believed the Australian Government's stimulus plan was the main driver for sequential server growth for 2Q.

She said most of the active server purchases came from the medium to large business segment, with "significant contributions" from "public and financial services segments".

"Server spending continued to be around server consolidation and the use of virtualisation," she said. "We also saw the tendency of users to go for higher specification or richer configuration servers this quarter and they appeared to welcome the introduction of Nehalem based servers."

Gadjuli said server spending in Australia would start to show slow positive growth again in about 2010 due to continued "cautious IT investment by businesses".

"To save costs, most of them will take or have taken measures such as extending useful life of existing servers by upgrading the components, deferring purchase until next year," she said.

While virtualisation, on x86 servers, had an impact on the volume of shipments, Gadjuli said, vendors would've benefited from customers spending on "virtualisation software and services".

The report showed all major server vendors experienced year-on-year revenue decline, except Dell.

HP retained the leading position in server shipments with 29 percent market share, mostly from the x86 platform.

In revenue terms, IBM maintained its first position by controlling 39 percent of total revenue in 2Q09, with strong growth from its mainframes.

However Gartner said the vendor's Power Systems continued to suffer under the impact of global downturn and reported a double-digit revenue decline during the quarter.  

Sun Microsystems' server revenue went down 33 percent year-over-year, while its revenue share went down three points to nine percent in 2Q.

Gartner attributed to Sun's decline to uncertainty surrounding the effect of Oracle's attempted acquisition of the vendor.

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