Linux Servers Up, Unix Down: Survey

Gartner's latest worldwide stats suggest IBM, HP and Dell are in good shape with Linux servers, but Sun Microsystems remains a question mark.
Linux servers are on the rise again thanks in part to low-end -- under $5,000 -- x86-based servers, according to a new survey by market research firm Gartner.

The report said server unit growth for the March quarter was up 27 percent (1.6 million units) over last year while worldwide revenues grew 9.3 percent to $11.8 billion. The survey confirms the now well-established hum of strong growth in the server sector.

''On a regional basis, the United States continued to be the largest server market, as it accounted for 37.8 percent of global server revenue,'' Michael McLaughlin, principal analyst for Gartner, said in a statement.

Despite legal threats from SCO Group and competition from Microsoft, Gartner's report said Linux continued to be the growth powerhouse in the operating systems server market, with a revenue increase of 57.3 percent in the first quarter of 2004.

Windows continued to be the operating system of choice for servers with revenue hitting 35.1 percent of total market share. On a shipment basis, Windows dominated all others with 69.4 percent of the OS server market.

As for Unix, the study said the OS suffered a decline with first quarter revenue down 2.3 percent from the first quarter of last year.

Gartner still found a strong need for mainframes. Revenue for the monster boxes totaled $1.7 billion in the first quarter of 2004, a 12 percent increase from the same period last year.

Each of the major vendors of the low-end servers, IBM, HP, Sun, and Dell have something to brag about -- depending on how they read Gartner's tea leaves with respect to product cycles, industry segment emphasis and geographic demand patterns.

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