Storage Soup

June 24, 2015  9:32 AM

Backup appliance revenue grows, but leader EMC’s shrinks

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

EMC remains the leader in backup appliance sales but its grip on the market is loosening.

While backup appliance revenue increased seven percent year-over-year in the first quarter of this year, EMC revenue fueled mainly by Data Domain dropped more than five percent, according to the latest IDC tracker numbers. Second-place Symantec shaved more than 10 percentage points off EMC’s market share lead following 46 percent growth in the quarter.

EMC still has most of the market share, but its share slipped from 59.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014 to 52.4 percent this year. Symantec jumped from 13.5 percent share last year to 18.5 percent this year after strong growth by its NetBackup appliances. EMC revenue came in a $377 million compared to Symantec’s $133 million as EMC fell below 60 percent share for the first time in a year.

The next five vendors behind Symantec also increased revenue from the previous year. IBM increased seven percent to $37.5 million while its share remained at 5.2 percent. Hewlett-Packard followed at $32.5 million after growing three percent, but its market share slipped from 4.7 percent to 4.5 percent. IDC lists IBM and HP in a statistical tie because their share was within one percent of each other.

Barracuda and Quantum each had a bigger percentage increase than Symantec. Barracuda grew 65 percent year-over-year to $25.2 million, and its market share increased from 2.3 percent to 3.5 percent. Quantum grew 58 percent to $24 million with share increasing from 2.3 percent to 3.5 percent. Dell, in a statistical tie for fifth with Barracuda and Quantum, increased 28 percent to $18.3 million and its share rose from 2.1 percent to 2.5 percent.

All other vendors combined for 10 percent of the market after slipping one percent in revenue from last year. The total market hit $719 million for the quarter and 647 PB shipped for an increase of 32 percent over 2014.

June 8, 2015  12:24 PM

VMware gives EVO:RAIL hardware partners more options

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

VMware is giving its hardware partners more options for building EVO:RAIL hyper-converged appliances.

Dell, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, and Supermicro are among the hardware vendors who sell EVO:RAIL appliances packaged with VMware’s Virtual SAN (VSAN) hyper-convergence application.

VMware’s new configuration options can support approximately 1,600 generic virtual machines (VMs) and 2,400 virtual desktops in an eight-appliance (32-node) cluster, up from 800 generic VMs and 2,000 virtual desktops in the previously supported configuration.

EVO:RAIL hardware options now include dual six-, eight-, 10- or 12-core Intel Haswell or Ivy Bridge CPUs per node, 128 GB to 512 GB of memory per node and two capacity options. The first capacity option is one 400 GB solid state drive (SSD0 with three 1.2 TB hard disk drives per node for 1.6 TB of raw SSD capacity and 14.4 TB of total hard disk capacity per appliance. The second option is one 800 GB SSD and five 1.5 TB hard disk drives per node for 3.2 TB of raw SSD and 24 TB of hard disk capacity per appliance.

The original EVO:RAIL configuration set last August was for dual six-core Haswell or IVY Bridge CPUs, 192 GB of memory and the 14.4 TB capacity option.

Mornay van der Walt, vice president, EVO:RAIL Group, VMware, said VMware planned to make these additional options available later this year but moved them up at its partners’ request. Some partners have already started using their own configurations. For example, EMC’s Vspex Blue EVO: RAIL product launched in February with 126 GB and 192 GB memory options.

“As customers are finding their own swim lanes, we’re getting demand for more configuration options,” van der Walt said. “This was on our roadmap, but given the demand we said, ‘Let’s roll this forward.’”

VMware has yet to make VSAN 6 – the latest version of VSAN – available to EVO:RAIL partners. EVO:RAIL appliances still run VSAN 1.5, with VSAN 6 expected to show up on them in the second half of 2015.

Van der Walt said VMware has sold more than 1,200 VSAN licenses since it launched in 2014.

June 8, 2015  9:10 AM

Disk storage increases over Q1 2014, but networked storage declines

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

Disk storage revenue grew 6.8 percent during the first quarter of 2015, with server-based and hyperscale storage picking up the slack for SAN and NAS sales according to IDC’s latest storage tracker numbers.

External storage – SAN and NAS – dropped 0.6 percent from the first quarter of 2014. It slipped from $5.64 billion to $5.61 billion. That compares to overall disk sales that jumped from $8.21 billion in the first quarter of 2014 to $8.77 billion in the first quarter this year. Total capacity shipments increased 41.1% year over year to 28.3 exabytes during the quarter.

“Following a busy end-of-year spending environment, the enterprise storage market fell back into what has become a familiar market pattern,” IDC storage research director Eric Sheppard said in a statement. “Spending on traditional external arrays fell during the quarter while demand for server-based storage and hyperscale infrastructure was up strongly during the quarter.”

Server-based storage includes hyper-converged and direct attached storage, while hyperscale infrastructure consists of large-scale web storage.

From a vendor perspective, Heweltt-Packard (HP), Dell and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) increased year-over-year while sales from EMC, NetApp and IBM decreased. Original design manufacturers (ODM’s) selling directly to hyperscale data center customers accounted for 12.6 percent of global spending and the “others” category made up 30.5 percent of disk storage sales.

In the overall disk market, EMC held on to the No. 1 vendor spot despite a 6.7 percent decline to $1.51 billion for the quarter. EMC’s market share dropped from 20 percent to 17.4 percent. No. 2 HP increased 19.3 percent to $1.28 billion and increased market share from 13.1 percent to 14.6 percent. Dell moved past NetApp into third, growing six percent to $897 million for 10.2 percent share. NetApp revenue fell 10.5 percent to $765 million and it slipped from 10.4 percent market share to 8.7 percent. Fifth-place IBM’s revenue declined 29.3 percent to $525 million and went from nine percent share to six percent.

EMC and NetApp remained the top external disk vendors – all of their revenues are in that category – with EMC at 27.3 percent share and NetApp at 13.6 percent. HP ($512 million) and HDS ($507) are in a virtual tie for third with HP holding 9.1 percent share and HDS nine percent. IBM placed fifth with $424 million, falling 12.8 percent and dropping from 8.8 percent share to 7.7 percent. Dell was sixth with $395.1 million, an increase of 2.1 percent over 2014 for seven percent share.

June 5, 2015  3:16 PM

HDS fully digests Pentaho

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo
Data Analytics, Hitachi Data Systems, Internet of Things

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) closed its acquisition of Pentaho this week, which means Pentaho’s big data analytics technology will be showing up in HDS storage products soon.

Pentaho software will be part of the Hitachi Scale-Out Platform (HSP) hyper-converged system launched at HDS Connect last month. HDS will also use Pentaho in a Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) product for SAP HANA and Hadoop to analyze big data.

Pentaho’s standalone and embedded software for analytics, data integration and visualization is a big part of the HDS social innovation strategy the company highlighted during its Connect conference. Hitachi is trying to become a leader in the Internet of Things market, including storage and other infrastructure products.

That means analytics will play a big role in nearly all of its products going forward, said Sarah Gardner, HDS CTO of social innovation.

“Internet of things solutions are not designed to operate in the background,” she said. “We need to wire them into other parts of the environment. The days of people wanting standalone analytics are gone.”

HDS disclosed its intention to acquire Pentaho in February. Pentaho will operate independently as Pentaho, a HDS company, according to HDS.

June 3, 2015  9:02 AM

Violin still searching for right notes

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo
Violin Memory

The red hot all-flash array remains ice cold for Violin Memory.

Violin reported revenue of $12.1 million for last quarter. That was down 33.3 percent from last year and 41 percent from last quarter, and well below the vendor’s previous forecast of from $21 million to $24 million. Violin lost $26.5 million for the quarter, which was actually an improvement over the $46.8 million loss from the previous quarter.

“Our first quarter results fell far short of our prior guidance and expectations as Violin continued to manage through the short-term effects of transitioning our customer base to our new flash storage platform,” Violin CEO Kevin DeNuccio said during the vendor’s earnings conference call.

Violin’s numbers look especially paltry when you consider EMC executives claim their XtremIO all-flash system is on track to exceed $1 billion in revenue for 2015.

DeNuccio blamed poor sales on a transition to Violin’s new 7300 and 7700 Flash Storage Platform (FSP) arrays, which include storage services that were missing from its old 6000 Series. He said those features – particularly inline deduplication and compression – are required to compete with market leaders EMC and Pure Storage.

DeNuccio predicts Violin will get a significant chunk of what he expects will become a $15 billion annual market for flash in primary storage after people get a good look at the FSP arrays. He said Violin has already brought in $11 million in revenue in May to kick off the current quarter, mainly from deals that did not close by the end of last quarter.

Still, Violin forecasted only from $16 million to $20 million in revenue this quarter.

“We think the quarter outlook is still strong, but after missing two quarters in a row, we are being very cautious in the kind of guidance that we give,” he said.

He said a product transition is a significant drag on a “one-product company.” But he claimed Violin’s one product is in the right segment to ride a coming wave. DeNuccio claimed the all-flash array market is reaching a “tipping point” as customers are ready to move completely off hard disk drives for primary storage.

“We are seeing early adopters that no longer want to purchase additional disk or hybrid arrays going forward and they recognize the transformational advantages of an all-flash storage infrastructure with enterprise data services that Violin can now deliver,” he said.

June 1, 2015  6:28 PM

NetApp names new CEO

Carol Sliwa Carol Sliwa Profile: Carol Sliwa

NetApp announced a changing of the guard at CEO and chairman of the board after the market close today, less than two weeks after another disappointing earnings report.

CEO Tom Georgens departed after nearly 10 years at NetApp, and George Kurian, the company’s vice president of product operations, has replaced him. Kurian joined NetApp in 2011 and, since September 2013, has overseen the strategy and development of the company’s product portfolio. Kurian was also appointed to the board of directors.

NetApp also said Mike Nevens, lead independent director, was elected chairman of the board to replace Georgens, who held the position since April 2014. Nevens has served on NetApp’s board since December 2009. He is a senior advisor to Permira, an internal private equity fund, and he also serves on the boards of directors of Altera Corp. and Ciena Corp., according to NetApp’s Web site. Nevens is a retired director (senior partner) of McKinsey & Co., where he led the company’s global technology practice.

“While we intend to conduct a CEO search, we have the utmost confidence in George’s ability to lead the company, given his deep knowledge of NetApp and support from a strong executive team,” Nevens said via a prepared statement. “George has deep relationships with customers and partners globally and is committed to strengthening those relationships going forward.”

A NetApp spokesperson added, “The board believes that conducting a search is the appropriate course of action. George is the lead internal candidate for this position. He was part of our CEO succession plan and brings a wealth of experience to the role.”

Kurian’s appointment comes at a time of slumping earnings for NetApp and several other major storage vendors. NetApp announced on May 20 that its $1.54 billion in quarterly net revenue and $6.12 billion in annual revenue for the 2015 fiscal year were down on a year-over-year basis. The company also confirmed through an SEC filing plans to cut about 500 employees.

One of NetApp’s main troubles has been getting customers to move to its latest Clustered Data OnTap operating system. Many of the company’s largest customers waited for feature parity with the legacy version of Data OnTap, and that didn’t happen until the late 2014 release of clustered Data OnTap 8.3, Georgens noted during NetApp’s May 20 earnings call.

Georgens said the company underestimated the disruption the transition to Clustered OnTap had on the direct and indirect pipeline. He noted that Clustered OnTap represents a “re-architected and modernized version” of OnTap, and large customers have to undertake complex planning to update their existing storage management processes and migrate their data.

Channel partners typically guide smaller customers through the upgrade process, and some partners that were not well versed in selling Clustered Data OnTap saw customers defer upgrades, according to Georgens. Plus, the drive to Clustered Data OnTap hurt NetApp’s ability to attract new customers, he said.

NetApp also has been slow with the release of its all-flash FlashRay appliance. The company instead has relied on all-flash and hybrid version of its EF Series and FAS arrays to compete in the hot flash market. But, Georgens has claimed the company has sold significant amounts of flash through those products.

NetApp’s stock price plummeted during the first five months of this year from $41.68 per share at the close of business on January 1 to $33.16 at the close of business today.

Kurian said via a prepared statement that he is “honored to lead NetApp during this time of transition.” He cited key investment areas of “accelerating Clustered Data OnTap adoption, regaining traction in the channel, and increasing our sales capacity.”

Prior to serving as NetApp’s executive VP of product operations, Kurian served as senior vice president of the Data OnTap group and oversaw the product roadmap and engineering execution of Data OnTap and the associated On Command storage management product portfolio. Before that, Kurian served as senior vice president of NetApp’s storage solutions group.

Kurian came to NetApp from Cisco, where he was vice president and general manager of the application networking and switching technology group. He was responsible for modular campus LAN switching and WAN application delivery. He also previously worked on Cisco’s product development to enable Ethernet-based converged networks for video, voice and data.

Kurian’s prior employers also include Akamai Technologies, McKinsey & Co. and Oracle Corp. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Princeton and an MBA from Stanford.

Georgens joined NetApp in October 2005 as executive vice president and general manager of enterprise storage systems. He was promoted to executive vice president of product operations in January 2007. Georgens succeeded Dan Warmenhoven as CEO in August 2009 and as chairman of the board in April 2014.

May 28, 2015  11:17 AM

Veeam adds EMC to snapshot support list

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

Veeam will add snapshot integration with EMC VNX and VNXe storage arrays when it rolls out its Availability Suite 9.

Virtual backup specialist Veeam began integrating with storage arrays for more efficient backup and recovery of snapshots in 2013 with support for Hewlett-Packard 3PAR and StoreVirtual arrays. It added support for NetApp arrays in version 8 of its backup and recovery suite last year.

The integration allows Veeam Backup from Storage Snapshots to create snapshots faster by offloading the process to the supported arrays.

“One of our strategies is to integrate with primary vendors and their snapshot capabilities,” said Doug Hazelman, Veeam VP of product strategy. “This provides two capabilities. First, you get faster, more efficient snapshots because we can leverage the power of a primary storage array. The second is on the recovery side, we can see existing snapshots on the array and we can provide recovery operations from the array.

Veeam Availability Suite’s Enterprise Plus Edition is required for Backup from Storage Snapshots.

Availability Suite 9 is months away from release, but, as usual, Veeam will pre-announce features in advance.

“We’ll have rolling thunder through the next couple of months talking about new features,” Hazelman said.

May 28, 2015  7:15 AM

Rubrik pulls in $41 million in funding for cloud backup

Sonia Lelii Sonia Lelii Profile: Sonia Lelii
Cloud Backup

Rubrik has raised $41 million in Series B funding and also unveiled more details behind its integrated backup appliance that does hybrid cloud backup, deduplication, compression and data management.

The Palo Alto, California company has raised a total of $51 million since it launched 15 months ago.

“Our goal is to invest heavily in sales and marketing,” said Bipul Sinha, Rubrik’s CEO and co-founder. “We (also) have a lot of projects planned to rapidly expand the platform.”

Rubrik’s r300 Series Hybrid Cloud appliance is a 2U device that contains up to four x86 nodes and includes the Rubrik Converged Data Management Platform (RCDM) to manage backup across on-premise data centers and public cloud storage.  It also is configured with Rubrik’s Cloud Scale File System.

The appliances come in two models. The 330 contains nine hard disk drives and three solid state drives (SSDs) and supports up to 200 virtual machines The 340 contains 12 hard disk drives and four SSDs and supports up to 300 virtual machines. Rubrik supports VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V and KVM hypervisors. It also supports Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The systems are designed for speedy data recovery and long-term data retention management in the public cloud. They include a Google-like search capability for predictive search results based on data stored in both a private and public cloud. Data is fully indexed for search. Rubrik also can be turned into a storage endpoint so data and storage can be provisioned to developers during research and development projects.

Rubrik has 40 employees with two thirds in engineering and the rest in sales and marketing. The company has an all-channel business model and it claims to have 20 customers in its early access program. The latest funding round was led by Greylock Partners with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners and existing angel investors.

May 27, 2015  11:55 AM

All-flash could be on Nimble’s roadmap

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo
Nimble Storage

Now that Nimble Storage is growing revenue from its Fibre Channel support, it’s time for Nimble executives to think about what they will add next.

An all-flash array would be one logical addition. Nimble has supported flash in a hybrid set up since the start, and last year added an all-flash disk shelf that plugs into a Nimble controller to give customers extra performance.

Nimble has maintained that its hybrid arrays perform at or close to the levels of all-flash but at a lower cost. But on Nimble’s earnings report call Tuesday, CEO Suresh Vasudevan admitted that customers sometimes pick small all-flash arrays when they have one application that needs a performance bump. Vasudevan said Nimble’s architecture can support all flash, but stopped short of committing to an all-flash array.

“The underlying [Nimble] Adaptive Flash platform allows us to not just deploy the mix of flash and disk in a storage system but over time it can also be deployed in an all-flash configuration,” Vasudevan said when asked if Nimble needs an all-flash platform. “That is something our platform certainly allows us to do. I won’t be much more specific than that on how we are thinking about timelines.”

NAS is another missing piece for Nimble, which supported iSCSI block storage from the start and added Fibre Channel last year.

Vasudevan said customers have requested file protocols on Nimble arrays, but that is not on the short-term roadmap. He said customers do store files on Nimble systems now, and others use Nimble as the back end storage for traditional file servers. “We see the ability to add protocol support for file apps over time as a growth opportunity,” he said, adding it was “not something that’s a near-term driver in a big way for us.”

FC support helped Nimble increase its revenue year-over-year last quarter while the revenue of the large storage vendors decreased. Nimble reported $73.1 million for the quarter, ahead of its previous forecast of $68 million to $70 million. Nimble’s revenue grew 53 percent over the same quarter last year and four percent over the fourth quarter of 2014.

Nimble said 14 percent of its bookings last quarter included FC, and 70 percent of FC customers were new to Nimble.

FC also helped bring Nimble into more large transactions, as deals of more than $250,000 quadrupled from last year.

Nimble cut its losses in the quarter to $7.9 million from $10 million last year, but is unlikely to break even until the fourth quarter of 2016.

May 27, 2015  8:10 AM

SteelStore becomes NetApp AltaVault

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo
Cloud Backup

NetApp has rebranded the SteelStore cloud backup appliances it acquired from Riverbed last year, and will sell it on NetApp hardware.

NetApp is selling AltaVault as a physical product on FAS hardware, a virtual appliance for VMware ESX and Micrsoft Hyper-V hypervisors and as an appliance in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure public clouds. The systems integrate with NetApp SnapProtect and most common backup software applications, and can back up to a public cloud or private clouds build on object storage such as NetApp StorageGrid Webscale, EMC Atmos, Cleversafe, OpenStack Swift and Cloudian HyperStore.

The AVA400 physical appliance uses the NetApp FAS8000 controller head. It supports 12 to 72 hard disk drives for between 32 TB and 192 TB of usable local storage and 960 TB of cloud capacity. A 24-drive expansion shelf can be added. NetApp claims a 5.5 TB per hour maximum ingest rate. The AVA400 can run in cold storage mode with 32 TB of usable local storage, 10 PB of cloud capacity and a 350 GB per hour ingest rate.

NetApp plans to add an AVA800 physical appliance in the second half of 2015 that supports 96 drives, up to 384 TB of usable local storage, 1.92 PB of cloud capacity and an 8 TB per hour ingest rate.

The AVA-8, AVA-16, and AVA-32 virtual appliances on ESX and Hyper-V support from 8 TB to 32 TB of local disk capacity, 4.8 PB of cloud storage in backup mode and 10 PB of cloud capacity in cold storage model. The virtual appliances have a 2.6 TB per hour maximum ingest rate.

The AVA-c4 for Azure and AVA-c4, AVA-c8 and AVA-16 for AWS can back up cloud-based workloads or serve as a second or third site for disaster recovery.

The appliances dedupe and encrypt data. Running on the 10u physical appliances brings a significant bump in performance form the smaller appliances that Riverbed used.

Phil Brotherton, NetApp’s VP of cloud solutions said NetApp will continue to support the SteelStore appliances in the field but today’s launch signals the integration process is complete.

“With this release, everything about the product goes into the NetApp supply chain,” he said.

Brotherton said AltaVault is a big part of NetApp’s hybrid cloud storage strategy.

“It is important to integrate on-premise and off-premise data management into a format that customers can use across the board,” he said. “This is a critical component of our data fabric vision.”

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: