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HP streaks past competition

HP streaks past competition

HP is recording the fastest server market growth rates in New Zealand, according to latest figures from market analyst IDC.

In the last quarter of 2005, it grew 16.5% in the category over the last quarter of 2004, about 1.7 times the market growth in that time. Main rival IBM was the only competitor to achieve close to these rates in New Zealand in the same quarters.

HP marketing manager Jeff Healey says server sales have grown across category segments. He says SMEs are buying better systems, which is boosting revenue.

“In the past, small and medium businesses have chosen entry-level servers, but now there’s quite a bit more sophistication.”

IDC senior analyst Chris Ward says HP has been growing at about 1.5 times the New Zealand market rates in blade servers, although it is not the market leader in the segment in Australia.

“HP has been growing a lot more in blades because they’ve been coming from behind since about 2003. In 2005 they started coming back.”

Healey says it has done extremely well in the blade server market.

“A lot of this growth happens when existing customers are looking to consolidate their server farms and also virtualisation software is enabling them to do a lot more.”

Ward says the blade segment is consistently growing year on year in most mature markets. He attributes blade growth in New Zealand to mass purchases by Weta Digital, the special effects company which installed them to enable rendering (translating shot information into a frame) for King Kong. It was already using a large blade-based server farm for its work on The Lord of the Rings.

Late last year, Weta Digital bought 500 blade processors from IBM, which are housed at the New Zealand Supercomputing Centre.

“That one company has generated a lot of blade growth,” says Ward. “Blades are very new and it’s expensive to do it but Weta is a good success story.”

He says blades suit firms working on similar, time-specific projects.

“People are driven to use blades to minimise costs and can react quicker to [business opportunities], and can lease their infrastructure to other companies. The New Zealand companies who use blades can be more efficient but not strained for space or power.”


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