back to article NetApp confirms: SolidFire hyperconverged appliance is coming

NetApp met its revenue predictions for its third fiscal 2017 quarter and talked openly about a coming SolidFire-based hyperconverged product suited for scalable hybrid cloud and mixed workload enterprise deployments. NetApp's revenues were $1.4bn, an increase of 5 per cent sequentially and 1 per cent year-over-year, pretty …

  1. RollTide14

    Be Honest Chris

    How painful was it for you to write "Overall these are good results."

  2. nilfs2

    Good, but a few years late!

    NetApp should have bought Nutanix a long time ago and became the hyperconvergence pioneer, instead of kissing Cisco's ass with the stupid FlexPod.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good, but a few years late!

      NetApp is on fire! They're catching up with the rest of the industry faster than ever before.

      With any luck NetApp might even be on par. At that stage NetApp will spend 2-3 years partying so the competition can gain the advantage again.

      It turns out that NetApp prefers to chase others, over being chased.

  3. Gobec

    Chris reports - NetApp is catching up Dell/EMC?

    Chris reports that All Flash Annual Revenue are:

    1. Dell/EMC = 1,5 bn USD

    2. NetApp=1,4 bn USD

    3. HPE=0,75 bn USD

    4. Pure =0,74 bn USD

    and IBM=?

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Product margin!

    45%! a sign of a non-competitive product. looks like netapp is giving the kit away. last year it was 51%. last quarter was 48%!

    solidfire does not appear to contribute meaningful revenue. in fact it looks like they are flat if they contributed 15-20mil per quarter.

    90% of revenue is still ontap despite netapp's valiant marketing efforts to convince people that it changed. Not gonna happen! you dont wale up one morning and piss off 5bln of revenue. they will try to squeeze as much as they can.

    overall it looks like they have stabilized however the headwinds will return once competitors rebalance their discounting structures.

    1. Equals42

      Re: Product margin!

      That's nonsense, troll. NTAP has in their Q3 results:

      60.8% Gross Profit Margin

      8.9% Operating Profit Margin

      NTAP are profitable. Can you say that about their competition? Pure and Nutanix are still losing money on every sale. Violin is kaput. Who knows about Dell/EMC - we have to wait until they emerge from their layoffs and engineering/product line purge. IBM is shedding product lines. HPE was one of two life boats off that sinking ship. HDS hasn't really got it together yet. Oracle...

      Among a sector which is suffering a large transformation, NTAP is doing fairly well as the analyst said.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Product margin!

        Son, product margin is not the same as gross margin. gross margin includes hw and sw support agreements which have 90+ margins. . look at the product margin by itself. netapp publishes that

        1. Equals42

          Re: Product margin!

          First, I may be old enough to be your grandfather. Second, product margin is only part of the whole story. Pure states a 63% product margin (down 3% YOY). If you think Pure is making a dime of profit even with their 63% product margin vs NTAP's 46% you'd be daft. Support and services are high margin. Anything wrong with that? They count too as long as new sales aren't tanking. Take the whole picture into account.

          1. cleanur

            Re: Product margin!

            Yes but a few years back Netapp were doing those 60% plus product margins year in year out.

            In terms of all flash, at the moment they're doing a great job of dropping their pants on price supported by must retain marketing funds. Which TBH has really helped them remain relevant but not sure how long they can sustain those levels of discount.

            Netapp will always have a place simply because they're primarily NAS and replacing Netapp and all its intracicies is extremely complex and sometimes it's just easier to accept more of the same.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Product margin!

            You're not old enough to be my grandfather because you'd have known the difference between Product and Gross margin.

            Product margin shows the competitive of a product in the market. Don't take my word for it, just go ask around, analysts, CFOs, CEOs and generally people who've been in sales a while.

            In tech, and particularly in the storage industry, 45% product margin is extremely low especially when competitors, currently, sell in the 60s, as you pointed out.

            There's nothing wrong with having multiple revenue streams from Services and Maintenance agreements, in fact it's a good thing, but the discussion here is about product competitiveness. That type of product margin tells me discounts should be somewhere in the 70-80 points off! It appears Netapp maybe competing mostly based on deep pricing discounts and that can't be a good thing because its not sustainable.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HCI has fixed ratio of compute to storage?

    Disclaimer: I work for HyperGrid, but this is my own personal opinion.

    I had to laugh when I read NetApp's comments in this article. I guess they need to update their knowledge of the HyperConverged industry. Their comments about a fixed ratio of compute to storage, lack of performance and inability to scale couldn't be more wrong. Chris Mellor is spot on when he points out (very politely) that Dell's VxRail HCI products are positioned quite differently from this.

    And it's the same here. HyperGrid's HyperCloud platform allows compute, memory and storage to be scaled independently within a single HyperConverged estate. And per-VM quality-of-service controls mean that we are able to guarantee performance for shared or mixed workloads.

    And in fact, because the software is so much closer to the source VM, we can take that a step further and optimize storage traffic per-VM (separate IO queues, automatic block size optimization, etc...). That's something that's just not possible to do with a traditional storage infrastructure with the intelligence so far away from the VMs.

    And the comment about being expensive and inefficient as HCI systems scale? That's one of the biggest advantages HyperConverged systems have, they're designed from the start as scale out architectures. Flexibility and scalability are one of the major selling points, and a major advantage over traditional server & storage architectures.

    And finally, limited to 4-8 nodes? Not according to the tenders I'm seeing.

    I can't speak for other HCI systems, but HyperGrid has non-disruptive growth from 3 nodes to 256 with near linear performance and capacity scaling. The solution flexes with the customer, adding compute, memory or storage as they need, without becoming more complex over time as traditional IT structures so often do.

    Those 4-8 node installs aren't a 'silo' as NetApp would like you to believe. They're a customers first step.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HCI has fixed ratio of compute to storage?

      change your name again and get another CEO in 6 months, then come back and let us know if you have any customers or have been able to move out of the nascent Hyper-V market.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Top 10 Reasons why HCI on SolidFire

    10) The acquisition checks are cashed but the RSUs are not

    9) You don't have to mention Solidfire and Fibre Channel in the same sentence again

    8) Decided to put Solidfire developers to work than parade them in storage conferences

    7) A way to justify industry-high capacity overhead

    6) Needed one more thing to integrate with Clustered ONTAP

    5) Marketing says the Red sox have been flying off the shelves

    4) Helps curb SolidFire employee political commentary on twitter

    3) Not enough things to discount at 90%

    2) It was fun chucking Flashray, lets do this again!

    1) Maybe Solidfire will suck less

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Top 10 Reasons why HCI on SolidFire

      take it Nimble's not doing so well eh D?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Top 10 Reasons why HCI on SolidFire

      When (not If) HCI on SolidFire will fail the cDOT guys will be able to say 'I told you so'.

      When customers know that Solid Fire sucks, the cDOT/FAS fraction will feel validated.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We will do what has not yet been done by the immature first generation of hyperconverged solutions - ..."

    - NetApp will build an immature 2nd generation hyper converged solution - then we will ditch it, and tell everybody how great cDOT is.

    Then we will hire a new product manager.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "We will do what has not yet been done by the immature first generation of hyperconverged solutions - ..."

      1. Arrive late to the market

      2. Copy the competition and deliver an inferior product

      3. Expect to make money from it

      4. Yep! NetApp!

      BTW - here's the business plan:

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Existing HCI products, Rollason says, "are purchased with a fixed ratio of compute-to-storage resources", which "limits their utility for mixed-workload environments,"

    Oh yeah, guys...haven't you been the ones that made customers buy a FAS together with every single EVO:RAIL appliance?

    So please, Mr Rollason, don't shed FUD over others if you've been bathing in it yourselves just a second ago :)

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