The survey covered hardware firms that include Cisco, F5 Networks, EMC and NetApp.
Hardware companies are finding it difficult to compete with the firms selling software, cloud and security services, according to a survey from Pacific Crest Securities.
The survey found that in the fourth quarter of 2012, the number of hardware resellers running 'below plan' was twice as high as those that said they were 'above plan.'
Pacific Crest Securities said: "While anecdotal comments were not as bad as feared, the overall trends within the server, storage and networking sectors remain very mixed."
The firm said that F5, NetApp and Riverbed saw an increase in reseller sales, bucking the trend. Cisco and Aruba Networks also did well.
According to the survey, resellers did not feel much impact from fears over the 'fiscal cliff', and looked at hints of recovery in Europe.
The survey said that more resellers reported selling software at higher prices in 2012. The survey also found that software-as-a-service applications like Salesforce.com, Workday and SAP moved higher in the list of CIO spending priorities.