According to a report released by International Data Corp. (IDC), in Framingham, Massachusetts,the top four high-end server vendors in 1997 were IBM Corp., Fujitsu, Hitachi, and NEC, and all lost significant market share. "The successes in 1997 all came from vendors that managed to conjure up that illusive ingredient: performance. Hitachi's Skyline, Sun's UE10000, and Sequent's NUMA-Q are all examples of successful new technology introductions during 1997," the report stated.
The most important trend in 1997, according to IDC, was the strong emergence of Unix in the high-end server market. IDC expects significant investment in these products from vendors such as Sun and Hewlett-Packard and for the platform to re-create all the characteristics of the mainframe.
"With vendors having met the performance imperative, price and performance and high-end functionality take over as differentiators. Sun is particularly successful with the partitioning capabilities of the UE10000, and IDC is seeing the strong emergence of consolidation, clustering, and fibre channel as key differentiators in high-end servers," the report stated.