RealTime IT News

IBM Takes U.S. Server Lead

IBM vaulted to the lead in the U.S. server wars during the second quarter of 2001, gaining more than nine points of market share while rivals Sun Microsystems and Dell each lost share, according to an analyst report.

The report on server sales from Gartner Dataquest shows that IBM's share in the second quarter jumped to 28.6 percent, compared to 19.1 percent in the second quarter of 2000. Sun saw its market share decrease to 20.7 percent from 22.4 percent, and Dell's share also declined to 10.5 percent from 11.3 percent.

Now, a fresh announcement from IBM foreshadows other possible advances. IBM this week said it plans to combine the new Intel Xeon microprocessor and IBM's high-end Summit chipset in its upcoming line of Intel-based computer servers, the eServer xSeries.

IBM says Intel is testing its 32- and 64-bit processors using IBM's Summit chipset, which consists of a group of IBM advanced chips. When joined to an Intel processor like Xeon, the configuration promises to improve performance and the ability to link processors together to create larger and faster systems within an enterprise. The technology, according to IBM, adds "mainframe-like features" to an Intel-based server.

Intel is also using IBM Summit technology to validate the next-generation of its Itanium processor, expected to be available in 2002.

"The enterprise capabilities for the IBM Summit chipset, combined with scalable and reliable Intel Xeon processor, is a winning solution for customers seeking to run their business-critical applications on high performance, enterprise-class servers," said Mike Fister, vice president and general manager for Intel's Enterprise Platforms Group.

Worldwide, Compaq leads the server market with 26.7 percent of sales, followed by IBM (16.7 percent), Dell (18), Hewlett-Packard (10.6), Sun (6.4), according to recent data from Gartner Dataquest. All other vendors, as a group, hold 21.6 percent of the worldwide market for servers. While the position of the top five vendors did not change, only Dell and IBM had positive year-over-year growth, 28 percent and 10 percent, respectively, according to Dataquest.

IBM has been making other gains in specific product categories in the U.S. For instance, for sales of servers running Windows, Gartner said IBM's U.S. share role to 12 percent from 5.5 percent in the second quarter of 2000. Compaq's share of the same market fell to 25.6 percent from 41.7 percent. For sales of UNIX servers, IBM's share increased to 21.2 percent from 15.6 percent. Sun declined to 43.9 percent from 47.4 percent.