What Will the Fallout Be as IBM Leaves the x86 Market?

With the sale of its x86 server division for $2.3B, IBM exits the marketplace it started in the early 1980s. Some have argued that this is a good move for IBM and tolls the death knell for the x86 server marketplace. “Well, if IBM is closing shop, surely the end is nigh. What with all that virtualization malarkey, nobody is purchasing x86-based servers anymore.” While it is true that the glory days may be behind for a company based on server hardware due to the consolidation of large numbers of compute entities on single-host servers, there is still a significant marketplace for x86 servers: according to IT Candor, over $46B in 2013. Although the server market suffered its third quarter of revenue decline, dropping 4%, actual numbers shipped increased by 2%. The plain fact is that people are still buying x86-based servers.

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