Global server shipments fell 24.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2009, compared to the first quarter of 2008, according to Gartner.
The fall marks the biggest ever slump in server shipments, the analyst said.
Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner said, “The ongoing weakness of the global economy affected all server segments. x86-based servers fell 23.9 per cent in units and 27.1 per cent in revenues.
“UNIX servers also were impacted in quarterly results with drops of 31.3 per cent in units and 20.4 per cent in vendor revenues.”
IBM, HP, Dell, Sun and Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens all suffered double-digit revenue and shipment declines for the first quarter of 2009.
Sales of blade servers were the least affected by the downturn with shipments of X86 blades down 20.6 per cent and with all blades down 19.1 per cent.
Blade server suppliers do seem to have been able to resist pricing pressures caused by the downturn with Gartner figures showing revenue from blades was down just 13.8 per cent.
In the European x86 market, of the top five vendors, Sun’s shipments decreased the least at 7.4 per cent, although Sun only accounted for 2.4 per cent of total server shipments. HP’s fell 24.7 per cent. Dell, IBM and Fujitsu each declined more than 30 per cent.
Gartner said that a weak 2008 for RISC and Itanium UNIX revenues was followed by declined 31 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.