Sales of blade servers drove the biggest increase in server revenues in a year, according to a study by Framingham, Mass.-based IDC.
Blades saw an almost 30% jump in revenue in the third fiscal quarter over the same quarter last year -- and it still has room to grow, representing less than 6% of all server revenue. IBM is the leading seller of blade servers with about 42% of the market, followed by Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) with 35%, according to the report.
The blade server architecture includes a chassis, which can hold a dozen or more blade servers depending on the vendor. The blade servers can then be inserted and taken out of the chassis like books on a shelf. This gives data centers some flexibility in terms of being able to add, remove and replace servers as needed. There are some issues with the architecture, however, as it generates a lot of heat in a smaller envelope, and in some cases can be very heavy.
The sales of high-end enterprise servers, especially IBM's mainframes, also drove server sales upward. High-end enterprise server revenue grew about 9%, largely due to IBM System z revenue jumping 25% over the same period last year, according to IDC. The research firm attributed the increase to Big Blue's introduction of two new mainframes – the traditional behemoth and a smaller mainframe called the z9 Business Class -- since the summer of 2005.
Midrange enterprise systems ($25,000 to $500,000) revenue dropped for the fourth fiscal quarter in a row, going down 2.3%. Meanwhile, the sales of volume servers (less than $25,000) grew 3.8% but were tempered by the onslaught of virtualization, according to IDC.
Other findings from the study:
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