13 Jun 2017
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NetApp big gainer in enterprise storage market as flash booms

By Heather Wright

Dell and Hewlett Packard Enterprise have retained the top spots in a flat enterprise storage systems market, despite seeing double digit declines in revenue growth, while NetApp has bolstered its third place, with 13.3% revenue growth.

IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker shows Dell shed 3.5 percentage points to claim 21.5% market share for the first quarter of 2017, with HPE/New H3C Group dropping from 24.8% share in Q1 2016 to 20.3% this year.

IDC says Dell’s revenue growth was down 14.6% to US$1.97 billion, with HPE/new H3C Group down 18.6% to $1.86 billion.

NetApp was the big vendor winner of the quarter, up 13.3% in revenue growth to $731.6 million, and one percentage point in market share to claim 8% share.

NetApp also saw solid growth in the external enterprise storage systems market, where it holds second place behind Dell. It was up 13.3%  in revenue, with market share up from 12.0% to 14.0% - still some way behind Dell’s 27.2% market share. Dell saw a 16.0% drop in revenue for the quarter, IDC says. Third placed HPE/New H3C Group also saw a drop in revenue, down 4.6%, with share dropping from 9.9% to 9.7%.

Rounding out the top five for the overall enterprise storage market were Hitachi and IBM, who shared fourth place in a statistical tie, with both garnering 5.0% market share for the quarter.

That amounted to a 0.5 percentage point drop for Hitachi, and a 0.1 point increase for IBM, which also saw a 1.5% revenue growth, versus Hitachi’s 9.4% decline.

The moves come as the overall market records a 0.5% decline in enterprise storage systems factory revenue, which reached $9.2 billion for the quarter. Total capacity was up 41.4% to 50.1 exabytes.

IDC says revenue growth increased for original design manufacturers selling directly to hyperscale data centres, with that portion of the market up a whopping 78.3% year on year to $1.2 billion, capturing 13.2% of the market.

Sales of server-based storage were down 13.7% during the quarter and accounted for $2.7 billion in revenue.

IDC says external storage systems remained the largest market segment, but the $5.2 billion in sales represented a modest decline of 2.8% year on year.

Liz Conner, IDC storage systems research manager, says the market adhered to a familiar pattern throughout the quarter.

“Spending on traditional external arrays continues to slowly shrink while spending on all-flash deployments once again posted strong growth and helped to drive the overall market,” Conner says.

“Meanwhile, the very nature of the hyperscale business leads to heavy fluctuations within the market segment, displaying solid growth in Q1 2017.”

The total all flash array market generated $1.4 billion in revenue during the quarter, up 75.7% year on year, with IDC saying the hybrid flash array segment continues to be ‘the most significant part’ of the overall market with $2.0 billion in revenue and 22.0% of total market share.

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