IDC Reports Q4 2011 Shows Continued Blade Server Growth

The International Data Corporation’s (IDC) released their  Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker today covering Q4 2011.  Despite a 7.2% decrease in the worldwide server factory revenue, the blade market continued to experience growth in 4Q11 with factory revenue increasing 8.3% year over year.   Other key facts from the IDC press release:

  • Bladed servers (including x86, EPIC, and RISC blades) accounted for $2.3 billion in revenues, or 16.1% of quarterly server market revenue.
  • 89.6% of all blade revenue is driven by x86-based blades, which now represent 22.5% of all x86 server revenue.

HP maintained the number 1 spot in the server blade market in 4Q11 with 47.4% revenue share – down from 51% in 3Q11, while IBM grew from 18.2% in 3Q11 to 21.5% revenue share in 4Q11. Cisco and Dell rounded out the top 4 blade server vendors with 11.0% and 8.7% factory revenue share, gaining 5.3 and 1.3 points of blade market share, respectively from Q311.

According to Jed Scaramella, research manager, Enterprise Servers at IDC, “While there was softness in other segments, blades remained a strong point and continued as a driver of growth for the server market. The blade server category achieved both its highest reported revenue and revenue share in the fourth quarter of 2011.  IDC believes blades are a key element in a server vendor’s portfolio as they are a strategic footprint in the datacenter and important for vendor revenue and profitability. A converged blade platform is an opportunity for additional pull-through revenue beyond the server, including storage, networking, software, and services.”

For the full IDC report covering the Q4 2011 Worldwide Server Market, please visit IDC’s website at:


Kevin Houston is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of  He has over 15 years of experience in the x86 server marketplace.  Since 1997 Kevin has worked at several resellers in the Atlanta area, and has a vast array of competitive x86 server knowledge and certifications as well as an in-depth understanding of VMware and Citrix virtualization.    Kevin works for Dell as a Server Specialist covering the Global 500 East market.

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