February 20th 2024

Analysis of the Global External Storage Market in Q3 of 2023

Huawei Overtakes Dell in All-Flash array by Q3

Global External Storage Market in Q3 of 2023

In the past, I used to prefer using images of beautiful ladies on the cover because most of our readers were male. Today, let’s change the style and cater for our female readers.

Over the weekend, I spent some time on the latest market data for external storage in third 2023 quarter, which is released by Gartner. Now I’m sharing my analysis with everyone.
Firstly, let’s take a closer look at the global External Controller-Based (ECB) storage market in 3Q23.

We observed that global ECB storage in Q3 had declined by 12.8%, it was a challenging situation. Refer to the data, leader Dell had declined by 27.6%, with a market share of 23.1% only. On the one hand, it should be a lowest record for Dell year-on-year. On the other hand, Huawei had grown by 7%, achieving a market share exceeding 20% for the first time. It was possibly the best performance so far. Upon closer inspection, the Q3 sales of Huawei in China market experienced a slight decline. However, its overseas markets were generally growing, maintaining a positive growing trend. Huawei has firmly secured the second place, and left NetApp far behind. Moreover, it is starting to threaten Dell’s dominant position.

According to the data from Solid State Arrays (SSA) or an all-flash array, the global market has declined by 3.5% in 3Q23. However, Huawei had been increasing by one-third, while Dell declined by 26%. This marks history that Huawei surpasses Dell by the first time, and hits the first place of all-flash Array by 3Q23.

Of course, the most valuable reference is to check the overall situation from Q1 to Q3 in 2023

Comparing to the first three quarters of the 2023, i.e., 3Q23YTD, global ECB storage declined by 9%. Dell maintained the top spot but declined by 14%. Meanwhile, Huawei caught its second place, growing by 11%, with a market share exceeding 15%.

If we only focused on SSA all-flash, there was a global decline of 2.5%. Despite Dell was declining, its first position remains relatively stable. NetApp, Huawei, and Pure Storage all had shares around 15%, statistically we considered thaty they tied for second. Therefore, the ultimate winner for the year will depend on the fourth quarter.

Now let’s explore into the performance of storage based on different purposes.

In terms of primary storage, there was an overall decline of 10.7%. Dell, Huawei, and NetApp are the top three.

For secondary storage, there was a slight decline of 0.3%. Dell and Huawei are taking main share, both of them exceed 20%.

In the backup and recovery market, there was a decline of 11.8%. Dell maintains an absolute monopoly with a market share of 68.8%. Huawei is growing rapidly, but its share is close to 9%.

Finally, let’s compare the situations in China with United States.

In the first three quarters of 2023, the ECB storage in US had declined by 14.4%, indicating a terrible situation. Dell’s market share was 38%. Pure Storage surpassed NetApp and took the second place.

In China, there was also facing a decline of 5.4%. However, Huawei maintained growth, its market share had increased to 48.7%.

Suddenly China’s SSA market also declined by 3.6%. Nevertheless, Huawei continued to rise in a downward trend, the market share was reaching 56.4%.


Based on the Q3 data, Huawei is maintaining steady growth while Dell is experiencing a significant decline. If this trend continues, it’s highly possible for Huawei to take the first place of global storage one day. However, my preliminary judgment is that it might not happen in the short term. The U.S. stock market is currently going well, and economic indicators are favorable. The storage market might rebound next year. Nevertheless, Huawei’s achievement of acquiring the top spot for all-flash in Q3 has brought pressure to Dell. Even though Huawei cannot enter the largest storage market in US, its share in storage market continues to grow steadily. Regardless of the changes in the external economic environment, it is not surprised that Huawei may far beyond Dell one day.

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