Dell EMC leapfrogged Hewlett Packard Enterprise in worldwide server revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017, while also consolidating its lead over HPE in terms of server shipments.
Gartner has published estimated revenue and shipment data for the fourth quarter of 2017, showing that Dell EMC took the top spot in both charts.
The overall worldwide server market grew in the fourth quarter, with revenue up 25.7 percent in Q4 and shipments up 8.8 percent year over year.
For the full year, worldwide server shipments grew 3.1 percent and server revenue increased 10.4 percent.
The analyst firm put Dell EMC at 19.4 percent share of the worldwide server market for the fourth quarter versus HPE at 19.3 percent, thanks to a blistering sales performance by Dell EMC and lacklustre results from HPE.
Dell EMC's worldwide server revenue rose 39.9 percent in the fourth quarter to reach US$3.606 billion. This helped it edge out HPE, which had revenue of US$3.578 billion in the period, according to Gartner.
Gartner estimates that HPE grew its server revenue by 5.5 percent, which meant it was significantly outpaced by Dell EMC.
The analyst firm also measures the market in terms of estimated shipments, and here Dell EMC also outstripped its competitor.
Dell EMC shipped 582,720 units in the fourth quarter, Gartner estimated, a rise of 3.7 percent and enough for 18.2 percent market share.
HPE, meanwhile, saw estimated shipments fall 12.8 percent to 439,936, giving it second place with 13.8 percent.
Chinese vendor Huawei took third place in shipments, with 257,916 units, and 8.1 percent market share, followed by Inspur Electronics at 235,658 units.
Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner, said: "Server growth was driven by relatively strong economies for the quarter across the globe.
"This was a somewhat surprising quarter because the strength was exhibited in a variety of positive server shipment and revenue mixes in almost all geographies."
Asia Pacific, which includes Australia, was the strongest region globally for revenue and shipments, with revenue up 35.1 percent in Q4, and shipments up 21.2 percent.
Gartner's Hewitt sounded a note of optimism for future server sales.
"Both enterprises and hyperscale data centres produced positive results globally for the year as end users seek to implement more digital business solutions.
"The outlook for 2018 suggests that modest growth will continue, with enterprise end users taking an ongoing hybrid approach to both on-premises and public cloud choices based on their server application objectives."