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By | Chris Mellor 10th December 2014 13:40

Who won all-flash sales sash, sucked up all the cash? – IDC report

Plus: Back-of-envelope figures for raw flash storage prices

An EMC-distributed excerpt of an IDC all-flash array shipments and revenues report has Hopkinton topping the sales rankings, with NetApp at number four and IBM topping the capacity-shipped chart.

The report is a special IDC one, titled Worldwide All-Flash Array and Hybrid Flash Array 2014–2018 Forecast and 1H14 Vendor Shares.

Data storage, virtualisation, analytics and cloud computing outfit EMC leads the revenue rankings for all-flash arrays shipped in the first half of this year, with $112.3m.

California-based enterprise storage company Pure is second with $90.9m, and IBM third at $82.9m.

NetApp, SolidFire and Nimbus are some way behind, with Violin included in the Others category.


NetApp is looking down in the dumps with SolidFire and Nimbus.

However, IBM leads the capacity shipped rankings by a country mile, with EMC second, and some way behind.


Please note, there's no NetApp number

Intriguingly these all-flash array capacity shipped numbers have no entry for NetApp, despite listing NetApp as fourth in the all-flash array revenue rankings. Another surprise is that Violin has a 5.59PB shipped flash number while Nimbus Data has 7.5PB, the same as SolidFire and just under Pure's 7.6PB. We at El Reg find this quartet of numbers hard to decrypt – we have contacted the analyst for more information.

Expensive Pure storage

This capacity shipped chart prompted us to construct one, using the IDC numbers, to work out raw $/GB values, which provides an entertaining result:


Oh my, how expensive is poor old Pure Storage? And look at IBM.

Pure's raw flash is the most expensive at $12.03/GB. EMC's is next at $8.38/GB while SolidFire is solid value at $4.73/GB. Nimbus' value is $4.57/GB with IBM amazingly low at $3.64, almost a quarter of Pure's price.

There is no NetApp $/GB number because we have no NetApp raw flash capacity shipped number. *

IDC also provided hybrid flash/disk array revenue numbers. Once again EMC tops the chart, and by a wide margin, as we see below.

  • EMC - $1.6bn
  • NetApp - $891.9m
  • Hitachi - $521.2m
  • IBM - $408.7m
  • Dell - $211.3m
  • HP - $113.5m

Dell and HP have a lot of catching up to do. IBM and Hitachi are both significantly behind NetApp, while EMC is roaring ahead.

It's also notable that, unlike all-flash arrays where startups make a great showing (Pure and SolidFire) there are no startups at all in the top hybrid array rankings. Nimble Storage, Tegile and Tintri are lumped together in the 'Others' category.

Lastly the gnomic numerologists at IDC provided raw flash capacity values for hybrid arrays, as seen below.


My goodness, look at Dell, just spitting distance behind EMC. Hitachi makes a strong showing in third place, while NetApp and IBM are substantially behind with HP trailing them.

Overall, HP makes a very poor showing in these IDC numbers, which is surprising, particularly in the hybrid array arena. Don't its customers need flash acceleration in their arrays as much as anyone else? ®

* We're asking both IDC and NetApp to clarify the points raised in this story.

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