IBM Gains Blade Server Market Share in Q3 2010

IDC came out with their 3Q 2010 worldwide server market revenue report last month which shows that IBM grew from Q2 2010 in their blade market share.

According to IDC, worldwide server sales (all servers, not just blade servers) for Q3 2010 factory revenues increased 13.2 % year over year to $11.8 billion in the 3rd quarter of 2010 (3Q10). They also reported the blade server market accelerated and continued its sharp growth in the quarter with factory revenue increasing 23.1% year over year with shipments increasing 5.5% compared to 3Q09.  According to IDC, nearly 88% of all blade revenue is driven by x86 systems, a segment in which blades now represent 18.9% of all x86 server revenue.

While the press release did not provide details of the market share for all of the top 5 blade vendors, they did provide data for the following:

#1 market share: HP decreased their market share from 55.8% in Q2 2010 to 54.1% in Q3 2010

#2 market share: IBM increased their market share from 24.2% in Q2 2010 to 26.8% in Q3 2010.

According to Jed Scaramella, research manager, Enterprise Servers at IDC, “Blade systems represent a strategic element of server portfolios, as vendor utilize the platform as the foundation for converged solutions.  Additionally vendors continue to expand their blade offerings to support more workloads, including extreme virtualized environments, scale-out deployments, and higher-end workloads.”

For the full IDC report covering the Q3 2010 Worldwide Server Market, please visit IDC’s website at

9 thoughts on “IBM Gains Blade Server Market Share in Q3 2010

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  9. Anonymous

    Kevin – Thanks for hosting this discussion. I enjoy reading your blog. As a matter of full disclosure I work for HP.

    I want to point out that the analysis you have done looks at the sequential change (quarter to quarter) of market share. But due to the seasonal effects of each of the vendor’s fiscal quarters it is more accurate to look at the market share changes year-over-year (the same quarter for each year). This will give the best indication of who is gaining and who is losing market share.

    Here are the last two IDC press releases for review:

    Dec 2009:

    Dec 2010:

    Looking at the blade revenue share changes in these two press releases, year over year, HP gained more than 3 percentage points in worldwide blade revenue share. IBM lost share, more than 2 percentage points in worldwide blade revenue share.

    We at HP are very proud of the fact that we have been leading the blade market for 16 consecutive quarters and we are still gaining market share year over year. According to the IDC Data HP shipped 1.9 times as many blades as #2 IBM, and 4.7 times as many as #3 Dell. HP increased blade unit shipments year-over-year by more than all other vendors combined (including IBM, Dell, Cisco).

    And this is the first time in the history of IDC’s Server Tracker that HP is #1 in total worldwide server revenue for three consecutive quarters.

    For more information you can see:

    Thanks again for creating and hosting this blog.

    Jim Hannan

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