How are the various Disk Array Vendors and Technologies playing out?

The disk array market has enjoyed some significant activity over the last few years, with a number of new so-called disruptive vendors having entered a space occupied by some significant, committed and established vendors.

The channel is responding, with the various vendors and distributors jockeying for position, often hedging their bets across multiple partners.

So what’s actually happening, and how does Gartner see things playing out in this space?  

State of the Disk Array Market

No question, the myriad of new entrants (mainly all-flash), have had an impact on the market. The Other Disk Manufacturers (ODMs) Direct and Others have enjoyed significant success, with roughly a 24% growth (quarter-on-quarter), though many of the contributors to the growth have come off a relatively low base.The market grew by 6.8%, but 3 of the 5 established disk array vendors endured declines. The one stand-out exception is HP, who enjoyed 19.3% growth, and a significant increase in market-share.

HP is clearly enjoying significant success, with the largest contributor, from both a revenue and growth perspective, being the 3PAR disk array.  

Disk Array Market Outlook

The latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for General Purpose Disk Arrays shows the established disk array vendors clearly positioned alone in the Leaders Quadrant.  These established vendors have a significant advantage in their ability to execute, however interestingly, a number of these established vendors (led by HP) hold a distinct leadership in their completeness of vision.

Gartner cites the following as some of HP’s strengths: 

  • Featuring common provisioning, management and data services software, the HP 3PAR StoreServ scale-up and scale-out architecture scales performance, capacity and cost from the lower regions of the midsize external storage market to the high-end segment, simplifying storage administration in organizations that deploy storage platforms to meet varying service level objectives (SLOs).
  • HP has made material R&D investments to ensure that its 3PAR StoreServ and StoreVirtual 4000 series support leading hypervisors, including Citrix XenServer, Red Hat KVM, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere.
  • HP has released, at a steady cadence, incremental enhancements to the 3PAR StoreServ and StoreVirtual 4000 series platforms, improving performance, resiliency, capacity and functionality.

We, at Lynx, have had the good fortune of numerous approaches by various disk vendors, but have unhesitatingly opted to stick with our existing play.  

HP is enjoying tremendous success in the disk market today, with a vision and roadmap that ensures an even further strengthening evolution.

We believe that HP’s position in the disk market is stronger than any we have experienced over the last 25 years, and as a standalone offering, presents a great opportunity for our Reseller partners.  When coupled with HP’s market-leading server offerings and/or the strongly evolving HP networking offerings, we truly believe we (our Reseller partners and us) have the absolute premier portfolio.

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