How is Solidfire doing? Let’s find out

Analysis. Solidfire all-flash arrays had a $130.8m run rate in NetApp’s fiscal 2018  but the quarterly growth trend line is uneven.

Wells Fargo senior analyst Aaron Rakers has estimated Solidfire all-flash array and Elements HCI numbers using NetApp financial reports and IDC all-flash array data. We have charted them:

There are just two Solidfire Element HCI bars because it has only recently become available.

First impression of the all-flash array line: it’s a jagged, lumpy curve.

Second impression: it is not a steep growth curve.

Third impression: there was a tremendous dip in the revenue growth line after Q4fy17. That looks like a seasonal effect  but the all-flash array market is a hot growth market. Solidfire revenues falling back like that is unexpected.

Fourth impression: the two HCI bars in the top chart show a decline in NetApp Solidfire HCI revenues. It is only two quarters of results but even so that could be a disappointment.

Is the Solidfire array revenue curve changing in a steady proportion of NetApp revenues, and following that main curve? We charted it as a percentage of overall NetApp revenues to see:

This is another lumpy curve showing that Solidfire revenues follow their own path.

NetApp paid $870m for Solidfire in 2016. These results don’t really show NetApp delivering the sort of sales boost that one might expect from a big company with big sales channels. Solidfire? More like SlowSmoulderingfire at the moment.