Jidaw Systems

Linux is leading server OS. IBM is leading server vendor

Recent research reports indicate that Linux continues to be the leader among operating systems globally in both revenue and units. According to leading research firm, the Gartner analyst group, Linux grew its global revenue 55.7 per cent from last year, and increased units by 45.2 per cent, while Windows gained another two points in market share for all operating systems over the third quarter of 2003, earning 36.5 per cent of all revenue, or about $4.3bn for the quarter.

According to Gartner, "the server market is still being primarily driven by the x86 segment. This, along with the acceptance of Linux in additional application areas in the enterprise space, will continue to drive demand."

Interestingly a similar report from IDC another leading research firm indicate that in quarterly sales of servers running the Linux operating system topped $1 billion for the first time during the third quarter of 2004. In the IDC report, Linux accounted for more than 9 percent of the $11.5 billion in servers sold worldwide during the quarter. 

According to IDC, Linux servers posted their ninth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth with year-over-year revenue growth of 42.6% and unit shipments up 31.7%. While Microsoft Windows servers, based on x86 server hardware, showed strong growth, as revenues grew 13.3% and unit shipments grew 19.1% year over year. Quarterly revenue of $3.9 billion for Windows servers represented 33.9% of overall quarterly factory revenue, essentially equal in size to the Unix market. 

These results are evidence that worldwide investment in Linux servers continues to remain strong. Linux is a platform that is expected to continue making further inroads in more technical and commercial industries around the world.
Indeed forecasts from IDC indicate that sales of servers using Linux will grow faster than the overall market at least through 2008. IDC has said revenue from Linux servers is expected to grow annually at 22.8 percent, compared to 3.8 percent for the overall server market. 

Linux is no doubt a phenomenon in the server market. It is quite new compared to competitors such as Sun's Solaris and Microsoft Windows and the top four server sellers--IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and Dell--all support Linux. Linux also can be run as a partition on powerful machines such as IBM mainframes, Power processor-based servers and on Hewlett-Packard's Superdome servers. 

Also based on Gartner's research findings, IBM is the world's leading server vendor, in terms of revenue, for the 3rd quarter of 2004. IBM held its lead based on server revenue, as its market share remained at one third in the third quarter of 2004.

Highlights from the Gartner report:

IBM #1 worldwide server vendor in revenue in 3Q04
IBM #1 worldwide blade server vendor in shipments and revenue in 3Q04
IBM #1 worldwide for Linux-based servers in revenue in 3Q04
IBM worldwide UNIX-based server revenue grew faster than the top two competitors YTY in 3Q04
IBM worldwide x86-based server revenue grew faster than the top two competitors YTY in 3Q04

Dell continues to be the fastest-growing server vendor. It led all major vendors in growth, boasting a 17 per cent revenue hike this quarter and overtaking Sun Microsystems for the third spot overall.

In terms of overall volume, HP led all vendors with 468,924 units shipped in the third quarter. Dell experienced the strongest growth rate among the top five vendors, as shipments increased 25 per cent from last year.

These findings were also confirmed by IDC who stated, "IBM held on to its number 1 spot in the worldwide server systems market with 31.7% market share in factory revenue while growing factory revenue by 6.3% compared to 3Q03". 


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