In a trend that may be affected by the rise of cloud computing, research firm Gartner recently reported the worldwide server market experienced growth in the final quarter of 2010.

In a recently published study, Gartner reported server shipments grew approximately 6.5 percent year-on-year, while revenue increased by 16.4 percent.

According to the study, revenue grew in all regions, with the exception of Japan. The fastest growth was experienced in North America, at 24.5 percent, followed by the Asia Pacific region, at 22.4 percent and Latin America, at 12.3 percent. Ths server market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa grew by 10.4 percent, while in Japan the market declined by 4.4 percent.

"2010 was a year that saw pent-up x86-based server demand produce some significant growth on a worldwide level," said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner. "The introduction of new processors from Intel and AMD toward the end of 2009 helped fuel a pretty significant replacement cycle of servers that had been maintained in place during the economic downturn in 2009."

Growth in the private cloud may be influencing the increase in server shipments. In a recent report in the Australian, Andrew Stevens, chief of a large IT company's regional branch, said the industry should expect "big moves" in the private cloud in 2011.