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From far from good to good from AFA: Flash array floggers jostle for position

Analyst reveals some interesting tidbits

Huawei came out of nowhere in 2017's fourth quarter all-flash array sales race, flogging 10 times as much kit as it did the year before, meanwhile NetApp more than quadrupled its A-Series sales.

OK, both jumps are from small bases – $7.3m and $46.8m respectively – but the growth, to $84.1m in Huawei's case, shows buyers are not averse to giving the former vendor's AFA offerings a sniff just over five years since it entered the space.

The numbers came from a NetApp analysts' day, and were tabulated by Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers into a veritable league ranking of vendors' all-flash external array sales in the fourth quarters of 2016 and 2017.

Individual entries may well surprise you; El Reg was surprised by a few:

Vendor 4Q2016 Revenue 4Q2017 Revenue Y/Y% Change
EMC XtremIO $145.7m $92.7m -36.4%
EMC All-Flash VMAX $286.8m $240.5m -16.2%
EMC Unity (VNX) $210.6m $229.8m 9.1%
EMC DSSD $1.9m $0 n/a
EMC All-flash Isilon $0 $4.8m n/a
EMC Total $645.1m $563.0m -12.7%
Dell $0 $0 n/a
NetApp SolidFire $20.3m $25.2m 23.4%
NetApp EF-Series $12.2m $11.2m -8.8%
NetApp All-flash FAS $199.9m $48.7m -75.6%
NetApp AFF A-Series $46.8m $265.4m 466.7%
NetApp Total $279.2m $350.3m 25.5%
HPE All-flash 3PAR $211.7m $174.8m -17.4%
HPE Nimble $32.3m $68.6m 112.3%
HPE Total $244.0m $243.4m -0.2%
IBM $188.4m $230.4m 22.3%
Hitachi $40.1m $76.8m 91.3%
Huawei $7.3m $84.1m 1,052.2%
Pure Storage $173.7m $250.3m 44.1%
Others $111.7m $146.1m 30.9%
Total $1,689.4m $1,944.4m 15.1%

Basically EMC disappoints with its 12.7 per cent decline from the 2016 fourth quarter to the 2017 one, with XtremIO showing a 36.4 per cent decline.

NetApp came on strong with a 25.5 per cent rise overall, driven by the all-flash A-Series's rise.

HPE finished up with a 0.2 per cent decline as 3PAR arrays fell back and Nimble ones did not take up the slack.

IBM did well with a 22.3 per cent rise.

Hitachi Data Systems transformed into Vantara and grew flash array sales an impressive 91.3 per cent.

Huawei exceeded that, and Hitachi Vantara revenues (just) with a 1,052.2 per cent jump to $84.1m in revenues.

Pure Storage was solid with a rise of 44.1 per cent, third behind Dell-EMC and NetApp.

The Others category grew 30.9 per cent.

Will these relative growth rates continue through 2018? Probably not, as Dell EMC gets its sales act together and claws back lost market share.

But watch out for Huawei.

HPE will probably also pick itself up from its very small 0.2 per cent decline. It can comfort itself by saying that was not as bad as Dell EMC. This sure is a fun market to watch. ®

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