back to article HPE and Pure Storage all-flash array market shares decline

HPE's all-flash array market share slumped in the first 2018 quarter, and Pure Storage – something of a bellwether because of it was one of the original flash startups – saw its share shrink a tad too. Both of them saw significant rises in revenue, however – along with the rest of the all-flashers – of 16.6 and 45.2 per cent …

  1. StorageInsider

    Dell's 1Q performance based on a re-swizziling of fiscal calendar

    Dell is still behind from where they were a year ago if you look at a full four quarters of storage revenues.

    Dell/EMC's 1Q calendar year performance is largely explained by a one time adjustment of fiscal calendar year from January to December, previously to the new calendar cycle of February to end of January.

    For this one time cycle, Dell benefited by comparing their seasonably lowest 3 months of the year in 2017, to their single seasonably highest end of year month, plus the first two months of next fiscal year, in calendar 1Q18.

    This means a very easy compare, and not important to obsess over. Even the Dell execs said their performance going forward would be 'lumpy' (at least four times in the earnings transcript). It also means that for this one period, Dell appears to have gained share vs. competitors (but it came at the expense of Dell's negative fourth quarter last year.

    So watch and wait until next quarter to see where this really goes.

    I'm sure many of you will not be impressed.

    1. Pistolero

      Re: Dell's 1Q performance based on a re-swizziling of fiscal calendar

      This one-time adjustment was made nearly 18 months ago (end of Jan 2017), so how would it affect the most recent quarter results? I'm seriously asking as I don't understand.

      1. StorageInsider

        Re: Dell's 1Q performance based on a re-swizziling of fiscal calendar

        That's a fair question. Sellers are typically motivated to drive hard in the last month of their year to meet quotas. The last month of the most recent year was January 2018 (one year after the change you accurately mentioned).

        IDC's most recent report covers the calendar year for all vendors for Jan-March 2018. (It takes them a little over two months to assemble that data and report on 1Q18. The large change is compared to EMC's 1Q17 calendar performance, which was the first quarter of their 2017 fiscal calendar, meaning the lightest quarter of the year for most sellers.

        So compare really heavy month activity to really light months and you get a large delta swing.

        Hope that helps.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HPE have brown fingers. Everything they touch turns to crap. Turning a product like Nimble with 7 years of consistent growth behind it in to a shrinking one in under 6 months takes a special lack of skill.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Too true

      I was A Nimble employee and a very happy one having recently left to go to a competitor. HPE made every acquisition mistake possible with Nimble; the execs were warned but did not listen. Losing Rod Bagg, the brainchild behind InfoSight (one major attraction of Nimble) was the last staw for me.

      What a shame.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Too true

        There are 3 types of people that have left Nimble after the Acq

        1) Those who made a killing in the acq and decided to roll the dice somewhere else

        2) Those who couldn't afford to stay because their pay structure changed due to how HPE was handling certain accounts in their territory

        3) Those who were offered more money by a competitor

        You probably belong in groups (2) or (3) because had you made a killing you'd be gone by March. Sales people (Account Execs and SEs) don't leave because they'll go somewhere else and make...less money or because one person left the company. The founders are still there...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Too true

          Ex-Nimble. I decided to leave HPE without making a killing, my pay plan was not disrupted and I took a large pay cut to get the right role at the right company. The reasons I left. It became clear HPE would ruin Nimble, having bought it to try and save 3PAR with Infosight. (Now the key Infosight people have left, so that may prove difficult.) 3PAR has a LOT of users with major issues including data loss. Hand on heart I could never recommend Simplivity. And HPE has the worst processes ever for quoting, expenses, travel, anything that needed to be done. Almost every manager introduces themseleves by saying ‘I’ve been at HP for 20 something years and it’s the best company in the world.’ Having never worked elsewhere how would they know, its mass management delusion, full on Stepford Wives. HPE let go some the the industries true legends yet has an oversupply of narrow minded, also ran, time serving, imagination lacking clones. For me life is too short to waste it in an organisation that ruins everything it acquires, does not trust it’s employees and doesn’t put the customer first, second or even third. They are in a slow death spiral sustained only by the Proliant install base, it’s slow and not pretty.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Too true

            HPE didn't let go of any legends. Those who left including Rod Bagg left to start their own companies, just so you know, but you should have already known that because every Nimble person did. Every Nimble executive that departed did it 100% *voluntarily*

            Not for a second do I buy your story.

            Nobody forced you to sell anything other than Nimble. You know that because your plan was overweighted on Nimble and you could overachieve on Nimble sales alone. You chose to leave for a competitor for more money so cut the bullshit because you're not talking to a 10 year old.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Too true

              I took a pay cut and when you get rid of the person who built the European SE organisation but keep very ordinary ‘senior’ people from the HP global SE organisation then they are letting legends go. I was trained on Simplivity because I was expected to sell it. You are correct, the balance of the comp plan meant I would have been able to make my number (and more) without it but the expectation was there. I wasn’t let go or driven out, it was a cultural incompatibility. The expectation was 3PAR would be the majority of business despite Nimble being better for the large majority of workloads that didn’t need sync rep. Surprise surprise sync rep on Nimble dates pushed back, because the priority was protecting 3PAR. For Nimble all flash revenue to fall is shocking. I seem to be talking to someone who only thinks of money, there are people who make career decisions for other reasons. I left firstly because HPE is organisationally moribund, the product I loved was being ruined for the aging and flawed 3PAR and I was expected to be involved with Simplivity, a niche product not fit to compete with the mainstream HCI products for most workloads and almost all of whose staff were got rid of when it was acquired and whose support organisation was in total meltdown. I understand you think it’s all about the money, but there are many things in life that matter more. I suspect HPE will look after the remaining Nimble folk from a financial perspective (good) because so many have already left and unlike Simplivity I think they do want to retain the ex-Nimble folk, but the attrition rate is very high (some for more money, but by no means all).

              1. JRW

                Re: Too true

                I’m also ex-Nimble and without being behind AC I’d like to say how I disagree with the two former workmates on this thread.

                To the person still in HPE - I left in January taking a significant pay cut. I am lucky my kids are grownup and this means I am much freer to make choices than most, but job changes are not always about money.

                To the ex-HPE person I would suggest listening to Meatloaf’s ‘Objects in the rear view mirror.’. I am not disputing your description but look forward not backward. Enjoy the choices you have made, hopefully for some positive reasons and focus what you are now doing, let HPE worry about themselves.

                To all the ex-Nimble people, still in HPE and the many now in other places, I hope life is treating you well.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what is crazy here is if NetApp didnt have their head in the sand for years shortly ago, they could heave easily released their AFF A series years prior and stolen a good portion of XtremeIO and Pure Storage market share before they really got rolling. Look how fast they bounced back ands nabbed about 20% market share. News flash....they always had the tech. they sat on it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I find that very hard to believe.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Big Dumb companies do Big Dumb things all the time.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just All Flash, not overall storage

    Is there something special about flash arrays?

    Not every customer, not every use case, not every application is a fit for flash, so I'm more interested in the overall market shares by vendor. I know that disadvantages Pure (tough titties) but if you're selling 15,000 arrays for video surveillance with 12TB SATA disk or you're selling 4PB cold store archives, flash drives aren't going to be the best fit for these types of use cases.

    So, measuring all flash is like judging Ford by the number of convertibles it sells, without counting the saloons, pickups and SUVs.

    1. WallBanger

      Re: Just All Flash, not overall storage

      You are correct sir! When a vendor only sells hammers, everything is a nail! The IDC category "Worldwide External Enterprise Storage Systems Market" tracks ALL external storage regardless of its backend medium (SSD, NVMe, HDD, etc). Pure is not listed as IDC only publishes the top 5 vendors. So Pure gets counted in the "Others" category, along with the other ham-n-eggers. Here's IDC's Q1-2018 results:

      https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS43964118

      Pure continues to loose share as more customers catch on that Pure is a marketing company and not an innovative storage company. Their architectural limitations are the same as any array based on a dual headed Active/Passive controller architecture. Which may be fine for some SMB's but NOT well suited for enterprises (at least not ours). They claim they're innovative based on using NVMe now BUT in reality its a tactical use to help maintain the facade and not further expose the limitations of their poor design. Smart folks are catching on to that one too. In the long run, companies require money to flow in at levels above their burn rate. Tintri II anyone?

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