IDC has confirmed earlier figures from Gartner that Sun’s server revenues have taken a pounding, down 35 per cent for the year to Q3 2009.
The slump, while the worst of the world’s top five server vendors, mirrors a sever decline in server sales around the world in the last 12 months.
IBM recorded a 12.9 per cent decline in revenues over the same period, HP a 16.8 per cent decline, Dell a 6.8 decline, and Fujitsu a 8.2 per cent decline.
Overall the whole server sector recorded a 17.3 per cent decline.
Despite the grim results, the worldwide server market exceeded expectations in the third quarter with improving x86 server demand leading the way, which was driven in part by the infrastructure refresh momentum that is building in many geographies, according to Matt Eastwood, group vice president of Enterprise Platforms at IDC.
“In fact, x86 server revenues experienced their largest sequential quarterly revenue increase in nearly five years," he said. "IDC believes that platform migration is once again gaining steam in the market and the post-recession server deployment patterns will establish the technology agenda in the datacentre for the next business cycle.
“For server vendors, after five quarters of market contraction, the next few quarters will be critical to determining the technology platform winners and losers in the years ahead."
In line with the decline in server revenues, IDC also recorded declines in server operating systems with Microsoft Windows server revenue hitting $US4.5 billion in Q3 '09, a 12.8 per cent year-over-year decline.
Linux server revenue declined 12.6 per cent year over year to $1.5 billion in the quarter.
Unix revenues were $2.8 billion for the quarter, experiencing a 23.4 per cent decline over the same period.
On a positive note the blade server market segment returned to quarterly revenue growth with factory revenue increasing 1.2 per cent year over year on a 14.0 per cent year-over-year shipment decline after two consecutive quarters of declining year-over-year revenues.
"Customers are leveraging blade technologies to optimize their environments in response to the pressure of the economic downturn and tighter budgets,” Jed Scaramella, senior research analyst at IDC Datacentre and Enterprise Server group. “Blade technologies provide IT organizations the capability to simplify their IT while improving asset utilization, IT flexibility, and energy efficiency.”