IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, factory revenue in the worldwide hosting server market increased 3.1% year over year to $14.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 (4Q12). This was the first quarterly increase of factory revenue in five quarters. Worldwide server shipments decreased 3.9% to 2.1 million units in 4Q12 when compared with the same period in 2011. For the full year 2012, worldwide server revenue decreased 1.9% to $51.3 billion when compared to 2011, while worldwide unit shipments decreased 1.5% year over year to 8.1 million units.
On a year-over-year basis, volume systems and high-end systems experienced 4.2% and 6.4% revenue growth to $9.1 billion and $4.1 billion respectively in 4Q12. At the same time, demand for midrange systems experienced a year-over-year revenue decline of 10.0% to $1.5 billion in 4Q12. The volume segment and high-end systems were both buoyed by a favorable technology refresh cycle with volume systems benefiting from continued demand for x86 servers deployed as part of consolidation and virtualization initiatives while increased spending for high-end systems was helped by strong demand for IBM System z mainframes.
Top Server Market Findings
- Linux server demand was positively impacted by high performance computing (HPC) and cloud infrastructure deployments, as hardware revenue improved 12.7% year over year in 4Q12 to $3.0 billion. Linux servers now represent 20.4% of all server revenue, up 1.7 points when compared with the fourth quarter of 2011.
- Microsoft Windows server demand continued to increase in 4Q12 as hardware revenue increased 3.2% year over year. Quarterly revenue of $6.7 billion for Windows servers represented 45.8% of overall quarterly factory revenue, the same share as in the prior year's quarter.
- Unix servers experienced a revenue decline of 24.1% year over year to $2.6 billion representing 17.6% of quarterly server revenue. This was the sixth consecutive quarter of revenue decline in the Unix server market and all major Unix server vendors experienced a revenue decline when compared with the fourth quarter of 2011.
- After five consecutive quarters of revenue declines, IBM's System z mainframe running z/OS increased revenue 55.6% year over year to $1.8 billion, representing 12.3% of all server revenue in 4Q12.
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