Server shipments grew 23 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of this year, according to a new report from Gartner.

For the three-month period, 2.1 million servers were shipped worldwide, up from 1.7 million shipped in the same period last year. Revenue for the first quarter was $10.75 billion against $10.14 billion in last year’s first quarter.

"We've seen a return to growth on a worldwide level, but the market has not yet returned to the historical quarterly highs that were posted in 2008," said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement.

Gartner also noted that server segments varied. The x86-based server market grew 25.3 percent in units and 32.1 percent in revenue, according to Gartner. However, the RISC/Itanium Unix servers saw a decline of 28.5 percent in units and 26.9 percent in vendor revenue. And the “other” category of servers, which is mostly mainframes, fell 15.1 percent in revenue for the quarter, said the research company.

Gartner also said Hewlett-Packard took the lead in the worldwide server market based on revenue, with HP’s server revenue reaching $3.4 billion, which represented 31.5 percent of the market in the first quarter of 2010. IBM was No. 1 last year, but Gartner pointed out that IBM, which had a 2.1 percent revenue decline for the quarter, was “affected primarily by anticipated new products in both its mainframe and Unix lines.”

Dell, Fujitsu and Oracle rounded out the top five server makers in terms of worldwide shipments.



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