Continuing Migration from RISC to x86

Statistics on Unix clearly reveal that the move from RISC to x86 keeps on gaining momentum. What's behind the move?


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Things just don't look good for the RISC/UNIX camp according to recent numbers from IDC.

The UNIX server space experienced a 23.4 percent decline in revenue in third-quarter 2009, compared to the same quarter in 2008. Granted, x86 also fell during the same period — but only by 12.3 percent.

Now that the fourth-quarter figures are out, the UNIX drop is 18.1 percent year-over-year. That adds up to worldwide UNIX revenues of $3.9 billion for the quarter, representing 29.9 percent of the total server spend — down from 36.2 percent in 4Q08. In comparison, x86 grew 12.6 percent in the same quarter to $7.3 billion.

IDC surmises this may have something to do with customers waiting for more clarity on the Sun-Oracle server roadmap. But current trends look bleak for the RISC brigade.

"In 2009, x86 servers captured more than 55 percent of all server revenue and more than 96 percent of all server units shipped worldwide," said Dan Harrington, an analyst at IDC. "This represents a continuation of the aggressive share gains that x86 technology has enjoyed over the last five years."

He made the point that the fourth quarter is normally the strongest for non-x86 machines — they have never held less than 50 percent revenue share in that period until now, when they dropped to 43 percent. IDC expects this trend to continue, as users became more cost-conscious than ever in 2010. They are now looking to x86 servers for relief from capital and operational expenditures, said Harrington.

Read the rest at ServerWatch.

Tags: Linux, servers, Unix, x86, RISC

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