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It’s been a wild almost five years for Pure Storage at the epicenter of the flash memory disruption of data center storage. The last few weeks have been particularly chock-full of news and announcements, culminating this week with Gartner releasing their updated Market Share Analysis: SSDs and Solid-State Arrays, Worldwide, 2013. We’ll dive into our take on the news shortly, but first we’d like to reflect on the broader storage market. From Pure’s purview, we’ve seen flash adoption (or disruption, depending on your point-of-view) evolve in three classic stages:
There’s no question we feel vindicated at Pure Storage. The roughly $15B/year market for Tier 1 disk is tipping to all-flash. There are huge benefits to businesses in this transition—eliminating more than 1 million hours of application latency per year; saving almost enough in power to pay for their new AFA over its first four years in the data center; and shedding decades of accumulated complexity. Call this the end of the VMAX era and the rise of the all-flash array! Now let’s dive deeper on the news of the last few weeks.
This week Gartner released the 2013 update to its Solid State Array (a.k.a. AFA) market share analysis. Analysts play a crucial role in the market and have a tough job. Typically private companies (including Pure) have policies around not sharing revenue information, and larger companies often bundle different storage products together, making it difficult to tell how much all-flash customers are buying. In either case analysts must do detailed sleuthing (vendor discussions, customer chats, channel checks, supplier conversations and good old fashioned data crunching) to assemble a composite view of the market.
This year’s market share report has a few surprises, reflective of the scale of the flash disruption, and we’ll share a few observations:
To paraphrase The Lego Movie, everything was awesome for all-flash arrays in 2013 and we’re looking forward to even better 2014 and beyond!
You might have noticed lately that more folks are comparing themselves to Orange. We continue to be surprised and flattered as to the amount of attention that Big Storage is paying to Pure, and perhaps the Gartner & IDC data above sheds some light as to why. Let’s look at some of the competitive love just over the past month:
— StorageReview.com (@storagereview) May 5, 2014
You, of course, can count on us continuing to respond to EMC’s position of Pure. Hard to see how we could have among the industry’s highest customer satisfaction ratings (as measured by our NetPromoter Scores in the high 70’s), if EMC’s characterizations are accurate. If a vendor’s benchmarks of their own products are suspect, then vendor’s benchmarks of their competitors are likely fantasy. Please do your own performance benchmarking. We and our serious competitors would be thrilled to work with you on doing so.
— EMC Corporation (@EMCcorp) May 9, 2014
The good news is that this is a potential goldmine for customers, and we gave you a recipe for how to win. Please keep us posted!
But as flattering as this was, the real news from this event was that yet another vendor has declared the end of Tier 1 disk, and is “all in” to the flash revolution.
Obviously, we at Pure Storage welcome this attention: The only reason for Big Storage to focus on us is that we’re succeeding in the market. Look for a follow-on blog later this week where we dive deeper into the technical details of some of these recent announcements, and provide Pure’s view on our differentiation, and why we’re winning.
Analysts, endorsements, flattery, and FUD aside, we hope the customer and partner take-away from this crazy month of all-flash is that the time is now. Take a serious look at the storage refreshes you have teed up for the rest of this year. Why throw bad money after good on performance (oxymoron) mechanical disk storage when even the Big Storage vendors are promoting an all-flash future? Look at Pure, look at our competitors, test out the serious contendors, and make the best choice for your business. Embrace and lead with flash in your business just as the storage industry is. You will be hugely glad you did!
*March 2015: Corrected to 600% (7x of 2012 revenue).