Rising All-Flash Array tide fails to lift Pure, IBM and HPE boats

The all-flash array storage market is growing strong and Dell and NetApp are the winners. It is far too soon to pick out the losers, but can the next tier of AFA vendors – Pure Storage, HPE and IBM – pick up the pace? All three are growing more slowly than the market as whole.

The findings come from Gartner, which distributed the research to private clients earlier this year. In April 2019 two charts surfaced at ElInfor, a storage industry information website owned by a Chinese memory vendor.

One chart shows vendor shares in the Solid State Array (SSA) market and the second chart compares relative portions of SSAs and hybrid flash/disk and HDD or disk arrays in the overall SAN array market. In Gartner terminology this is the the ECB, or External Controller-Based, storage sector.

Chart navigation

Blocks & Files has reverse-engineered the rough numbers from this chart and represents them in a different way to make for easier vendor comparison.

We can see that the leading vendor, Dell EMC, suffered a surprise dip in 2017 but has recovered. Second-placed NetApp is growing its share strongly. The two companies are in a race to see who can convert their installed base to flash array use fastest.

Third-placed Pure Storage has seen its share decline, with joint-fourth IBM and HPE adopting downward facing dog poses – IBM from a higher starting position.

“Others” is in seventh place and its share is declining steadily. Both Huawei, in eighth place, and Hitachi Vantara in ninth have rising shares while Fujitsu effectively flatlines in tenth place.

Huawei claimed today in a press release that it ranked first in growth rate terms with a 40 per cent compound annual growth rate from 2012 to 2018.

The second Gartner chart published on ElInfor shows SSA revenues overtaking hybrid and all-disk arrays. As a result Gartner will in future publish single primary storage reports combining SSAs, hybrid and HDD arrays.

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