April 27, 2023
Pure Storage is now enabling unified management of structured and unstructured data with the release of its File Services for FlashArray software. The new platform lets administrators manage block and file storage together on the same network.
Available for Pure Storage enterprise flash arrays, company officials claim the new software provides VM-aware management of storage pools that can reduce the cost of storage ownership by over 50%, compared to managing block and file storage separately.
“A lot of customers have wanted to see the efficiency and the simplicity of a single operational model,” Pure Storage VP of product management Peter Skovrup told Channel Futures.
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Noting that many organizations have separate block and file architectures when using the same array, “they are missing out on the strength of the separate architectures because they typically had compromises on one or the other side.”
Pure Storage’s File Services for FlashArray provide “a native experience where both blocks and files are treated as equal citizens are first-party services on the array,” he added.
Enabling the management of block and file storage within the same storage pools eliminates the need for customers to predetermine how much storage gear they will need in the future.
File Services a Different Approach to NFS Data Storage
Pure Storage isn’t claiming that it is the first to develop an NFS data store.
“That’s been out there for a long time, but we’re taking a different approach toward the NFS data stores,” Skovrup said.
By his estimate, roughly two-thirds of storage behind VMware ESX virtual machines is block, and about one-third is NFS-based.
“We give you the flexibility to choose and do what you want when you want,” he said. “You can mix the two and set it up any way you want. But we’re giving you the same granular data management paradigm.”
This granular data management approach uses what Pure Storage calls managed directories, meaning every VM can be managed as a directory. An administrator can manage a VM as a directory modeled in the same tree structure as a file system.
If a customer has a default policy for data protection, they can create the VM within that hierarchy. But they can also override it, set a different policy for each of the individual VMs and provide flexibility at the most granular level, according to Skovrup.
“When you don’t have file system limitations, you don’t have any headroom to think about,” he said. “Because the VMs are just placed on the global capacity of the system, you no longer have to worry about managing it.”
Skovrup noted that partners can provision the new software for customers with existing Pure Storage flash arrays or with new implementations. The company will provide demonstrations of the new software at its Pure Accelerate 2023 conference in Las Vegas next month.
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