HPE, Cisco, and NetApp are grabbing at the tail end of a fast-growing converged-slash-hyper-converged market that is utterly dominated by Dell's EMC and VMware businesses and HCI specialist Nutanix.
As reported by Wells Fargo senior analyst Aaron Rakers, IDC's latest reading of this market sees total revenues up up 21 per cent year on year to $3.615bn from $2.99bn in the analyst's summation of the third quarter of 2018.
But the Converged Infrastructure (CI) part of that – meaning Dell EMC’s vBlock and the Cisco/NetApp Flexpod – was actually down 2.5 per cent on the year with sales of $1.94bn. It was up just 10 per cent in the prior quarter.
The Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) part rocketed up 67 per cent y-o-y – from $1bn to $1.68bn, having grown 63 per cent from the year before.
Big-ticket CI boxes are being overtaken by low-and mid-ticket HCI systems.
Total Nutanix sales grew 65.5 per cent to $594.7m in the quarter. Total Dell EMC HCI sales grew 67.0 per cent to $496.8m. VMware's software-only HCI sales were $89.3m, up 57.2 per cent.
Total VMware VSAN + Ready Nodes (all vendors combined) had revenues of $590.6m, up 87.4 per cent.
In the tail-ender department, HPE HCI revenues grow 106.2 per cent to $111.5m. Cisco Hyperflex revenues, in comparison, look lacklustre with 18.9 per cent growth to $78.1m.
NetApp is bottom of the pack with revenues of just $21.1m, up from zero a year ago.
There are several other suppliers who are not listed by IDC: DataCore, Datrium, HiveIO, Maxta, Pivot3 and Scale Computing to name six.
IDC HCI numbers go back to the start of 2014. So we have one quarter to go to complete four years of HCI market growth. Cynics might say it's game over already, with Dell Technologies and Nutanix feasting, HPE, Cisco and NetApp struggling for scraps on the table, and the others reduced to grubbing for crumbs on the floor.
As long as the market keeps on growing then the scraps and crumbs will get bigger and can sustain business life. The vendors with skin in the game must be praying there's no downturn. ®