Dell retains external storage crown, NetApp is down – and Huawei is climbing fast

Dell Technologies pulled in external storage revenues of $2,075.8m in the third quarter, accounting for 31.5 per cent of an anaemic global market, up 1.3 per cent to $6.6bn.

Dell revenues fell 0.9 per cent year on year but the runaway market leader did rather better than NetApp in joint second place, which experienced a 19.4 per cent decline in revenues to $651.7m, taking 9.9 per cent share.

The figures, recorded by IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker, show HPE in joint second place with $632.2m revenues, down 4.6 per cent and taking 9.6 per cent share of market.

Three suppliers share fourth place. Huawei’s revenues grew 49.6 per cent to $463.5m, for seven per cent share. Hitachi’s $407.1m revenues were down 0.4 per cent, to take 6.2 per cent share. IBM grew revenues 1.8 per cent,to $398.4m, for 6 per cent market share.

NetApp and HPE have hovered around $750m quarterly revenues for several quarters. IBM matched that number in 2017’s fourth quarter but is now dipping below $400m and playing tag with Hitachi, while Huawei overtook both in Q3. Pure and Lenovo showed strong revenue growth, according to IDC, but are not at top-table levels.

IDC’s storage tracker show capacity shipments grew 6.8 per cent to 17.3EB. But total market capacity shipments, meaning external storage plus server-based storage, fell 13.9 per cent to 98.8EB. IDC has not released a revenue number for server-based storage. So we do not know if server-based storage revenues are rising, falling or flat.

However, the technology research firm reports strong double-digit growth of all-flash array sales with declines in disk-only and hybrid flash+disk external storage sales.

Quarterly trend of IDC’s external storage tracker.

We have charted vendor growth rates to show how Huawei tops the growth rate table with NetApp underpinning it.

We can deduce that NetApp did not sell a lot of all-flash arrays, as revenues declined 19.6 per cent while all-flash array revenues showed strong double-digit growth.

DDN separately announced that it has entered lDC’s rankings of major all-flash array vendors, but it did not reveal numbers apart from Q3 2018 to Q3 2019 revenue growth of 78.7 per cent. According to DDN, this outstripped Dell, NetApp, Pure and IBM. IDC has not publicly revealed all-flash array vendor revenue numbers.