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Will Pure Play Storage Vendors Be Gone with the Wind?


A year ago I was honored to be the last interview ever on the Cube from HP Discover (because of course the event was the last ever HP Discover). In that conversation, Dave Vellante and I discussed a premise that I proposed - that there wouldn't likely be another pure play storage vendor that became a standalone success. 

And I think I'm right but time will tell.  Look at what's happening in the industry:

  • Infrastructure is coming together for two reasons. First, demands for solutions like hyper-converged are bringing infrastructure together. Even where customers use traditional SANs, they want automation and orchestration to make the infrastructure "disappear".  The other is a technology trend toward host-based memory.  Technologies like we've demonstrated with the Machine aren't far off. 
  • Pure play storage vendors are really struggling. Traditional industry powerhouses NetApp and EMC lost 1.5 and 1.1 percentage points market share in 2015 and have continued to stumble in 2016.  Even the "sexy" new start-ups like Pure Storage and Nimble are losing 25 to 30 cents on every dollar of revenue.  
  • See my recent post titled Where is the industry going where I discussed this topic with the head of HPE Storage Manish Goel. 

At Discover, I was lucky to arrange a discussion with Chris Evans, a long time storage consultant and blogger at, and Mark Peters, Practice Director and Senior Analyst at ESG.  

I also have a podcast version that is a bit longer than this 8 minute video. Right click here to download the podcast or you can search iTunes or for "Around the Storage Block" to subscribe to the podcast.  

Mark has a video he did with his Insights from HPE Discover that is thought provoking so check it out too. 

Ten years ago, the storage industry wasn't terribly exciting. Bigger disk drives, a new version of SCSI, snapshot integration with applications, etc were the big news. Now things are moving fast and the pace of change makes storage a very interesting industry to pay attention to. Time will tell what the future brings!

About the Author

CJZ Headshot fixed 150 x 150.jpg

I'm Calvin Zito, a 33 year veteran in the IT industry and have worked in storage for 25 years. I recently wasvExpert 2016.jpg  named a VMware vExpert for the sixth consecutive year. As an early adopter of social media and active in communities, I've blogged for 8 years. I started my "social persona" as HPStorageGuy but with the HP separation, you can find me on Twitter as @CalvinZito. You can also contact me via email.

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About the Author


I have worked at HP and now HPE since 1983, all of it around storage but 100% focused on storage since 1990. I blog, create videos, and podcasts to help you better understand HPE Storage.

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