"None of these guys have a clear coherent hybrid cloud storage"
Unless you count Azure Stack. They have that. Sorry NetApp you were great for a while but I've no idea how you'll survive this next bit!
NetApp has managed to go back to what it used to do do reliably: churn out revenue and profit increases as its customer base lapped up new kit. First quarter fiscal 2018 revenues of $1.33bn were 10 per cent up on the year and produced profits of $136m, 112.5 per cent up on a year ago. Traditional seasonality came into play …
Well that applies to the entire storage vendor market so its sorta irrelevant to pointing against NetApp specifically...
but back to non cloud provider stuff - yes its easy to get caught up in: not good for SAN, cant scale out, not flash optimized, built from the ground up, etc etc etc but really all that was buzz. Fact is NetApp has ALWAYS had the secret sauce all other vendors would kill for.
dont get me wrong, there was some serious confusion and lack or direction for a period there. but they seem to be firing on all cylinders again. and there is no reason why their core portfolio AND their new products (solidfire, etc) cant tackle just about every storage related need on the market and do it competitively...including integrating with or caching, backing up to cloud of choice.
still doesnt solve the fact the on prem market is eroding. Not just storage, but everyone. Cisco sells boxes too (gasp, surprise!). again, i just moved back to an irrelevant "this affects everyone" statement. But I'm sure the stance is that physical on prem IT can keep a company fed for many more decades if you control all the market share....
A couple of points on NetApp
Aside from going thru a couple workforce reductions themselves, NetApp haven't really changed their direction. It's still ONTAP everywhere. Good or Bad, how is this any different than 2-4 years ago when this was used as a primary reason to stay away from NetApp? It's not!
Although NetApp hasn't changed, some of its main competitors have. It is, without a doubt, internal competitor challenges that have enabled NetApp to stabilize its business and ultimately benefit from the Dell/EMC integration challenges and HPE's business reorganization and acquisition integration.
It is also for this reason that a good number of analysts are still skeptical of the rebound because they know that at some point both Dell and HPE will make a come back.
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