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.
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.