The server market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) showed strong volume growth in the second quarter of this year, fuelled by pent-up demand for upgrades and replacements, new technologies and a weak US dollar, according to market researcher Gartner.

Server shipments grew 21.3 percent in the second quarter to 373,000 units, while revenue increased five percent to US$3.7 billion compared to the same period last year, Gartner said Thursday.

The spike in shipments came mainly from the sale of low-end Intel based servers, which is part of the reason why revenue growth was not as strong as the volume implied, according to Gartner analyst Jon Hardcastle.

IBM showed the strongest shipment growth during the quarter, delivering 41.4 percent more servers than in the second quarter of last year, Gartner said. Big Blue captured 16.9 percent of the market during the period, Gartner reported, thanks to demand for its xSeries and pSeries lines.

The EMEA market leader was Hewlett-Packard (HP), however, with 39.2 percent of the market and a 20.9 percent growth rate in shipments during the quarter. Dell logged a 29 percent growth rate and Fujitsu reported a 22.9 percent growth in shipments.

Sun Microsystems was the only major vendor to experience a shipment decline, according to the Gartner figures, shipping 18.4 percent fewer servers than in the second quarter of last year.

Though the rise in sales was boosted by companies' need to upgrade and replace old servers, the second-quarter shipment increase also appeared strong in comparison to last year's particularly weak second quarter, Hardcastle said.

Last year's second quarter was marred by confusion and channel problems surrounding the merger between Hewlett-Packard and Compaq, Hardcastle said. He added that these issues have now been resolved.

Looking ahead, the researcher predicted that shipment growth would remain positive, although not as strong as in the second quarter.