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Third-Quarter External Storage Systems Sales: HPE, Huawei Grow While Dell, NetApp Slip

The good news is that while total enterprise external OEM storage systems revenue fell year over year, it declined less than it did in the second quarter. The bad news is that all-flash storage array revenue, which had been quite resilient even as the rest of the storage industry slipped, saw only anemic growth.

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Storage Sales Continue To Fall

Revenue from the sale of branded storage systems sales to the enterprise market is not yet recovering. IDC, in its latest Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker, reported that total enterprise OEM storage systems revenue for the third calendar quarter of 2020 fell 1.4 percent over last year to nearly $6.8 billion, which is actually an improvement over the 5.0 percent drop the storage industry saw in the second quarter of 2020.

The drop in revenue came despite a spike in third calendar quarter external OEM storage capacity shipments of 9.6 percent over last year to 18.9 exabytes. That was significantly higher than the second-quarter 5.1 percent increase in capacity sold over last year’s second quarter.

One bright spot in the market was sales of ODM (original design manufacturer) storage systems to the hyperscale data center providers, said Greg Macatee, research analyst for infrastructure platforms and technologies at IDC.

“ODM vendors selling directly to hyperscale customers (i.e., ODM Direct) was once again a bright spot for the market,” Macatee said. “Collaboration tools and content delivery networks were key drivers of ODM sales as consumers continue to demand these types of at-home services on top of traditional enterprise-driven ODM Direct infrastructure consumption.“

Here is a look at the health of the branded enterprise storage industry and what‘s behind the numbers.

 
 
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