IDC Q1 2012 Server Report Shows Blade Server Sales Continue to Increase

IDC came out with their Q1 2012 worldwide server market revenue report on May 30, 2012 which shows that in spite of a decrease in overall server sales worldwide, blade server revenues increased 7.3% year over year.

According to IDC, worldwide server sales (all servers, not just blade servers) for Q1 2012 factory revenues decreased 2.4% year over year to $11.8 billion in the 1st quarter of 2012 (1Q12).  Although this is the second consecutive quarter of year-over-year (YoY) revenue decline, the total number of servers shipped increased to 2.7% YoY.  While the overall server revenue dropped YoY, volume systems experienced a 2.1% increase while midrange and high-end systems experienced declines of 11.2% and 10.2% respectively in 1Q12.

IDC also reported the blade server market accelerated and continued its sharp growth in the quarter with revenue increasing 7.3% year over year with shipments increasing 4.8% compared to 1Q11. More than 90% of all blade revenue is driven by x86 systems, a segment in which blades now represent 21.3% of all x86 server revenue.

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

HP maintained the number 1 spot in the server blade market in 1Q12 with 46.1% revenue share, while IBM finished with 18.9% revenue share. Cisco and Dell rounded out the top 4 with 12.8% and 8.7% factory revenue share, respectively.

According to Jed Scaramella, research manager, Enterprise Servers at IDC, “ Modular form factors drove the server market in the first quarter, with blades increasing 7.3% annually and density optimized servers increasing 38.8% annually. Blades now account for 16.6% of all server revenue, while density optimized accounts for 4.5%.  In the first quarter of 2012, several vendors announced converged solutions for blade platforms; IDC expects these to ramp into the market starting in the second quarter delivering IT organizations an integrated system for server, storage, and network.”

For the full IDC report covering the Q1 2012 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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