Pure Storage up, IBM down in external storage systems revs

Despite a recent earnings miss, Pure Storage has cracked the IDC enterprise storage tracker for the first time to grab a share of fifth place in external storage systems revenue to tie IBM Storage.

Although well behind storage leaders Dell EMC, NetApp and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Pure Storage closed in IBM, which on Friday confirmed its second round of layoffs.

For the first quarter, IDC said Pure generated nearly $290 million in revenue to capture 4.2% market, share just shy of IBM at 4.7% at $320 million. IDC considers it a statistical tie if vendors are within 1% share of each other.

Pure increased revenue 22% year-over-year according to IDC while IBM decreased 12%. The overall networked storage market grew 5%.

Pure remains well behind market leaders Dell EMC, NetApp and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), but its move up the leader board underscores the continuing churn in enterprise external storage systems. On Friday, IBM confirmed a second round of layoffs this year, reportedly affecting more than 1,500 people. It’s not clear how layoffs will affect IBM Storage.

Pure Storage expanded sales teams more than 40% during the past year, CEO Charles Giancarlo said during an earnings call in May. Although the hiring put a damper on earnings last quarter, the bulked-up salesforce enables Pure to pursue larger enterprise customers.

“We have a record amount of large-deal volume in our pipeline. In terms of deal size, (the average) is $3 million and above, and often many times (greater) than that,” Giancarlo said, referencing Pure Storage FlashArray block and FlashBlade scale-out NAS.

Dell EMC sets the pace

Gobal revenue from total enterprise storage systems fell less than 1%, flattening out at $13.4 billion. The total enterprise storage includes systems that are sold as servers and attached storage. And while enterprise storage system revenue slipped, vendors shipped more than 114 exabytes last quarter, a year-on-year improvement of 14%.

Revenue of external storage systems climbed to $56.8 billion. All the leaders except IBM and Hitachi Vantara increased revenue year-over-year. There was no change in position among the top five vendors in external storage sales.

Dell EMC storage generated $2.35 billion last quarter, up 6%, to control more than one-third of the overall market (34%). NetApp retained second place with 13% market share and $895 million in sales, up half a percent.

HPE revenue jumped 14% year over year to $745 million, good for nearly 11% of the external storage market. IDC reports combined figures for HPE and H3C Group, a joint venture it launched with Chinese company Unisplendour Corp in which HPE retains a 49% stake.

No. 4 Hitachi Vantara dropped 1.1% from the year-ago quarter, falling to $453 million. IDC said Hitachi accounted for 6.6% of external storage systems revenue, although its percentage of the market is lower as a result of change in strategic direction several years ago. Hitachi Vantara mostly sells storage for heavy industry and commercial and less to enterprise data centers.

Following IBM and Pure, IDC lumps assorted other vendors that round out the external storage systems market. Cumulatively, IDC said those “others” accounted for $1.8 billion last quarter.

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