System News
Sun Maintains Leadership in UNIX Server Shipments
10th Consecutive Quarter, Per IDC Report
January 25, 2000,
Volume 22, Issue 1

Sun overtook both IBM and Hewlett-Packard (HP) to move into the top spots in total server shipments (including systems based on UNIX, Microsoft Windows NT, and other operating systems) for the high-end and mid-range markets in the third quarter of 1999, according to a leading industry analyst firm. The Q3CY99 server market report, issued by International Data Corporation (IDC), also shows that Sun continued to gain momentum in the growing UNIX server market. Sun has maintained its number one position in total UNIX server shipments for the 10th quarter in a row. The company increased its market share in UNIX server shipments and factory revenues across the board -- in entry-level, mid-range, and high-end server categories.

Sun systems have been tremendously popular in the traditional mission-critical data centers, as well as with the fast-growing service provider, e-commerce, and dot-com companies that need to offer high quality service levels at low service costs while managing unpredictable user loads in fast-changing application environments. Sun's Enterprise servers, with Solaris, StorEdge systems, and middleware offerings excel in all these environments.

"Unlike our competitors, we haven't had to reannounce our commitment to the UNIX platform -- Sun has never taken its eye off the ball," said John Shoemaker, vice president and general manager of enterprise desktops and servers for Sun. "While our competitors have re-awakened to the capabilities of UNIX systems and must manage incompatible and complex CPU, OS, or architectural transitions, Sun's SPARC/Solaris products offer a unique blend of scalability and binary compatibility. The latest market share data validate Sun's focused and seamless strategy. Customers are not choosing just any UNIX servers. Increasingly, they're placing their confidence and trust in Solaris and Sun."

Sun Casts Shadow Over IBM and HP High-End

The IDC report states that Sun, boasting 76 percent growth in market share, moved past IBM and clinched the top position in total high-end server shipments (systems priced on average above $1 million), with the Sun Enterprise 10000 (a.k.a. Starfire) server leading the charge. Sun also achieved 18 percent growth in factory revenues in the high-end server market, while IBM showed a 34 percent decline.

Sun trounced HP to capture the number one spot in UNIX high-end server shipments, showing 76 percent growth in market share. HP suffered a 74 percent decline in market share of UNIX high-end server shipments. Sun also maintained its first place ranking in factory revenues in high-end UNIX servers with 39 percent market share. Sun has held the top position in UNIX high-end server shipments and factory revenues for the past four quarters and six quarters, respectively.

Sun Seizes Lead in Midrange Server Shipments

In third quarter 1999, Sun surpassed both IBM and HP in total mid-range server shipments (systems priced from $100,000 to $1,000,000), racking up 22 percent growth while both HP and IBM showed negative growth -- 37 percent and 45 percent, respectively. Sun also had higher growth than IBM and HP in total mid-range server factory revenues -- Sun boasted a 10 percent growth rate versus IBM's negative 43 percent and HP's negative 10 percent. Sun's gains are even more intriguing in light of new systems on the market from both IBM and HP.

Sun knocked HP out of first place in mid-range UNIX server shipments, locking up 40 percent of the worldwide market share. Sun showed a 22 percent growth in the category while HP showed a 39 percent decline. Sun also showed an impressive 10 percent growth in UNIX mid-range server factory revenues. All other vendors showed declines in growth -- IBM had a negative 36 percent growth and HP had a negative 8 percent growth.

Sun Unrivaled in Entry UNIX Server Market

In the entry-level segment (systems under $100,000) of the total server market, Sun grew 33 percent in total entry server shipments and 24 percent in factory revenues. Sun was once again the champion in shipments and factory revenues in the UNIX entry-level server market -- for the 10th consecutive quarter, Sun has been the customer favorite (units shipped) and has been the leader in factory revenues for seven consecutive quarters.

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