Pure Storage Moves Beyond Flash with Pure Fusion, Portworks Data Services

Cloud-based storage on demand and database as a service are to arrive in 2022.

Jeffrey Schwartz

October 4, 2021

5 Min Read
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Pure Storage will launch on-demand storage and database services next year with its new Portworks Data Services and Pure Fusion. Both are important components of Pure’s strategy to expand beyond all-flash storage with hybrid cloud-based storage and database-as-a-service (DBaaS) offerings.

During a virtual event last week, Pure, which delivers exclusively through partners, introduced Pure Fusion and Portworks Data Services (PDS). Company officials described Pure Fusion as a platform for provisioning, managing and scaling enterprise storage, delivered as a service. PDS, which Pure dubs “storage as code,” is a Kubernetes-based database-as-a-service platform that will let DevOps professionals provision managed, data services.

The platforms seek to take infrastructure out of the equation for developers, and organizations that have shifted to DevOps practices. Pure is delivering both as on-demand services with a focus on making storage infrastructure invisible, according to Pure Storage chairman and CEO Charles Giancarlo.


Pure Storage’s Charles Giancarlo

“We are keenly focused on accelerating the digital transformation of your infrastructure, making your data more performant, and your organization more agile,” Giancarlo said during the online event. “Storage automation and virtualization were originally developed in the cloud for modern cloud native apps. Pure is now bringing this capability to you for both traditional and cloud-native apps in a hybrid cloud environment.”

According to an assessment by Moor Insights and Strategy senior analyst Steve McDowell, more enterprises are moving to more flexible, cloud-like on-demand storage and database services. McDowell noted that Pure’s strategy plays to those expectations.


Moor Insights & Strategy’s Steve McDowell

“We see investments across the industry into increased levels of manageability, flexible as-a-service options and public cloud integration,” he noted. “Some vendors do this well, and some do the bare minimum. Pure Storage, with its consistently high NPS scores, clearly understands its customer base and places the customer experience front-and-center.”

Pure Fusion

Fusion is a SaaS-based management plane that will provision pooled storage arrays into availability zones. The company designed it to automate workload placement and mobility, as well as fleet rebalancing. Fusion includes an API framework that will allow a storage-as-platform model that works with existing developer tools.

Dan Kogan, Pure’s VP of product management said Pure Fusion provides unlimited scale-out storage by unifying arrays and optimizing pools.


Pure Storage’s Dan Kogan

“It is a new capability that’s going to operate on top of our FlashArray, and enable you to essentially make your FlashArrays invisible,” Kogan told Channel Futures.

Pure Fusion will also let administrators create larger storage pools, which are then exposed to the end users in self-service manor,” Kogan said.

They can also provision them from their own resources, the API framework, self-service portals or through Pure1, he added. Pure1 is the company’s monitoring and management framework.

Because the Pure Fusion management plane provides an infinite pool of storage, administrators will be able to scale beyond the limits of current cluster-based storage, according to McDowell’s analysis.

“It integrates push-button deployment of resources, delivers storage-as-code capabilities, and includes intelligent workload management,” he noted. “It does this across on-premises customer-owned storage, storage delivered via Pure as a Service and supports Pure’s Cloud Block Store.”

Pure’s Kogan said the company will release a private preview of Pure Fusion by year’s end. Pure is planning for general availability release of it during the first half of 2022. Initially, Pure Fusion will integrate with Pure’s FlashArray//X, FlashArray//C and Pure Cloud Block Store. The company said it plans to subsequently integrate with its FlashBlade and Portworx.

Portworks Data Services

The introduction of Portworks Data Services comes one year after Pure acquired Portworks. Portworks offers a Kubernetes-based data services platform that runs business critical applications that are container-based.


Pure Storage’s Michael Ferranti

“Portworks is the market leader in containerized storage for modern applications and it has this unique attribute of being infrastructure agnostic,” Portworks VP of product and corporate marketing Michael Ferranti told Channel Futures.

It provides automated DBaaS management to simplify the challenges DevOps teams face with microservices used for cloud-native applications. PDS lets DevOps engineers provision Kubernetes-based, managed data services from SQL, NoSQL, search and streaming sources, among others.

“And now they have a managed database-as-a-service instance that they can access and that is autonomously managed by Portworks,” Ferranti said. “That means developers don’t have to worry about operations, they just get an endpoint that they can log into, or an endpoint that they can send data to credentials that they can log into that database. It is like bringing in an RDS- [Amazon’s managed database as a service offering] like experience to any infrastructure.”

The benefit of Portworks is that it can manage any vendor’s storage, giving partners the opportunity to expand into new accounts.

“Because Portworks is infrastructure-agnostic, we see a lot of customers; in fact, most customers are not using Pure,” Ferranti added.

PDS is now available in private preview now. Pure said it will be generally available in early 2022.

Expanding Partner Opportunities

Because Portworks is infrastructure-agnostic, the Portworks Data Services offering could bring Pure’s arrays into new accounts. Likewise, it will bring enable partners modernize their existing clients’ infrastructure and database environments.

“PDS makes it a lot easier for those who are building modern applications to get the data services that they need,” Ferranti said. “Over the long term, this is a large standalone product that brings a lot of new businesses into the Pure ecosystem.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Jeffrey Schwartz or connect with him on LinkedIn.



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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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