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IDC’s Q3 market share results are in, and like George and Weezie, Pure Storage is movin’ on up, this time to the #7 spot in the external enterprise storage market. At Pure, we’re focused on building the leading data innovation platform, and as such, we don’t just measure our success in the all-flash array market, we measure it in the enterprise storage market at large.
In Q3, according to IDC, not only did Pure move to the #7 overall market share position, but we were both the fastest growing storage provider in the top 10 at 57.7% growth, as well as the largest aggregate gainer in the market, with $53M in YoY quarterly gains. Not bad for our 7th year anniversary!
Taking the Macro View of AFAs
The reason we set our sights on overall storage market share gains is that we increasingly believe focusing on the AFA market numbers is misleading. Why? Well established vendors have gotten good at leveraging bundles, renewals, sales incentives, and complex deal structuring with internal allocations to show breakneck gains in the all-flash array space. So, are they winning? Recent news would have you believe, for example, that HPE and NetApp are both growing their AFA revenues at 100% and 200% YoY respectively, and Dell EMC continues to grow its all-flash business at high double-digit rates.
So if the (retrofit) all-flash businesses of the incumbent vendors are on such solid ground, how is it possible that the very same vendors are the biggest decliners in the broader storage market? EMC turned in perhaps its worst quarter of storage sales in recent history, as the company deals with digesting the Dell merger, executive departures, reorganization, channel disruption, and the pivot away from XtremIO back to their retrofit VMAX and VNX technologies. NetApp has been on a 15-quarter trend of decreasing revenues and in their recent quarter saw their “strategic” product portfolio (which includes AFA) only grow at 1%. Moreover this includes SolidFire, which now a year into the acquisition is only 2% of revenue, or roughly 10% of Pure’s size. Even HPE, who has arguably fared the best of the incumbents recently, saw a strongly negative quarter. HPE Discover just passed, with no major innovations to the 3Par product line announced (including no announcement of the long-promised compression technology).
Pure’s Q3 results are no anomaly. We’ve delivered a 7-quarter trend of the highest aggregate growth of any storage vendor:
All this points in the same direction: no amount of share shifting or cannibalization of one’s legacy disk customer base to flash makes up for true innovation. To grow, you have to innovate.
Leading the Storage Industry into the Age of Data
Let’s look at the big picture. In the ever-expanding digital economy, data is strategic. As the world continues to deploy sensors everywhere, as we embrace a new era of machine learning, and as business analytics become real-time, potential data insight is accelerating. As flash is becoming increasingly ubiquitous, data is undergoing a silicon revolution. The core fundamentals of data and storage couldn’t be stronger – the storage industry needs innovation instead of continuing to lean on 20+ year old products. That’s Pure’s spot in this market – being a pure-play data innovator that helps customers gain advantage from data. And we’re just getting started – no one at Pure is content with #7.
And if you’d like to hear more about one of these new innovation areas, Pure intends to lead the industry transformation to NVMe – check out a first look at how we’re going to do it.