Storage, Content

Dell EMC, NetApp Lead $1.3 Billion All Flash Array Storage Market


The All Flash Array (AFA) storage market grew an impressive 48 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2017, according to a report from the Dell’Oro Group.

Total Q1 revenue topped $1.3 billion, and the two leading manufacturers claimed a combined 50 percent of market share, leaving other vendors to split the rest.

Dell EMC was the top all-flash vendor, grabbing 29 percent of market revenue. NetApp took second place but saw greater market share gains than any of its competitors. The company’s Q1 revenue share reached 21 percent, up from 15 percent in the first quarter of 2016.

“All Flash Array is the only segment growing in the external storage market space,” Jimmy Yu, vice president at Dell’Oro Group, said in a statement. “While the total market for external storage has contracted for the past two years, and will likely decline again this year, all-flash storage system sales are reaching all-new highs.”

Growing All-Flash Market

Dell’Oro Group, a market research firm for the telecommunications, networks and data center IT industries, predicts the AFA market will grow about 40 percent in 2017, reaching nearly $7 billion in revenue by year's end.

That's in contrast to the expected 14 percent decline this year in disk and hybrid storage system revenue.

Companies are increasingly replacing traditional hard disk drives with all-flash in search of faster response times, increased data mobility speeds, and reduced heat and power consumption.

Over the 12-month period ending March 31, all-flash sales in the U.S B2B channel grew 72 percent from the prior year, according to The NPD Group. During the same period, unit sales more than doubled.

Additional Market Leaders

Behind Dell EMC and NetApp in Q1 market share were:

It remains to be seen whether HPE's recent purchase of Nimble Storage (NBML), which specializes in AFA storage, could shift those market dynamics.

In a deal that closed April 17, HPE paid a huge premium of 45 percent - $12.50 per share or $1 billion total - for the San Jose, California company, which has reported rapid growth in recent quarters and growing interest from channel partners.

Nimble brought in $117 million in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase of 30 percent from the same period in 2015.