All-flash arrays shine in anaemic quarter for HPE storage

HPE revenues have returned to pre-pandemic levels – more or less – but data storage lags behind the rest of the business, with revenues down three per cent Y/Y to $1.2bn.

However, all-flash arrays (AFA) and hyperconverged were bright spots. AFA revenue grew 19 per cent Q/Q driven by increased adoption of the Primera AFA, which was up 43 per cent Q/Q ,and the Nimble AFA, which was up 27 per cent Q/Q. We don’t have Y/Y numbers for these two products.

Antonio Neri, HPE CEO
Antonio Neri

In the earnings call CEO Antonio Neri said: “In storage, we have been on a multiyear journey to create an intelligent data platform from edge-to-cloud and pivot to software-as-a-service data storage solutions, which enable higher level of operational services attach and margin expansion. And our strategy is getting traction.

“Our portfolio is well positioned in high-growth areas like all-flash array, which grew 29 per cent year over year; big data storage, which had its sixth consecutive quarter of growth, up 41 per cent Y/Y; and hyperconverged infrastructure where Nimble dHCI, our new hyperconverged solution, continued momentum and gained share, growing 280 per cent Y/Y. We also committed to doubling down in growth businesses and investing to fuel future growth.”

HPE emphasised Q/Q growth to show it is climbing out of a pandemic-caused drop in revenues. Big Data grew 27 per cent Q/Q thanks to to increased customer demand for AI/ML capability. Overall, storage accounts for 16.7 per cent of HPE’s revenues. (A minor point – in HPE’s compute business the Synergy composable cloud business grew five per cent Q/Q.)

CFO Tarek Robbiati said: ‘Our core business of compute and storage is pointing to signs of stabilisation, and our as-a-service ARR (annual recurring revenue) continues to show strong momentum aligned to our outlook.”

For comparison, NetApp yesterday reported Q2 revenues up 15 per cent Y/Y, while Pure Storage last week reported revenues down four per cent Y/Y.

HPE’s outlook is for a mid-single digits revenue decline Y/Y next quarter.