When connecting computers in networks began in the 1970s the use of shared machines to provide storage and services began, first among minicomputers, then, as the microprocessor gained traction, among PCs.
The release of Novell NetWare in 1983 brought Intel-based servers into corporations in force, and it dominated the market until the mid-1990s. However, today it has virtually disappeared, a victim of lagging development and poor marketing.
Windows had little impact in the server world until NT 4.0 Server came out in the mid-1990s. It was the first version considered stable enough for deployment in the enterprise, although it still required much more attention than Novell or Unix servers. Today, Windows servers are firmly entrenched in the enterprise, though Unix and Linux still host twice the number of Internet sites hosted by Windows. Microsoft now markets an ever-growing collection of Windows-based servers. IBM, HP and Sun hold top spots in branded volume server hardware.