Pure Storage Moves Closer to Making Hard Disks Obsolete with New FlashArraysPure Storage Moves Closer to Making Hard Disks Obsolete with New FlashArrays
Pure Storage claims new systems offer up to 40% performance improvement.
June 23, 2023
Pure Storage is moving closer to its longtime vision of flash replacing hard disk drives with the launch of its latest upgrade of its Pure//E, and the introduction of its FlashArrayX and FlashArrayC systems.
The new hardware and updates to the Pure1 management software and Purity operating system promise to bring that goal closer to reality, company officials said during its annual Pure//Accelerate 2023 conference in Las Vegas last week.
Pure Storage, which delivers only through partners, claims its new all-flash FlashArray//E R4 is comparable in performance and price to systems with 7200 RPM HDDs for secondary storage.
“We are so confident that in five years, by 2028, there will be no new hard disks sold,” Pure Storage chairman and CEO Charles Giancarlo said during the keynote session (above) at the Pure//Accelerate event. Pure, which manufactures its flash media, credits the “direct-to-flash” management capability of its Pure1 software in enabling the price-performance of flash for secondary storage.
Giancarlo emphasized that it has taken Pure Storage 10 years to develop that capability in the software, which he maintained gives the company a competitive advantage. “It’s what gives us our efficiency or effectiveness,” he said. “It’s also what gives us the longevity of our systems because we guarantee our flash for life.”
FlashArray Is Well Positioned
The launch of Pure’s new storage line was anticipated. During Pure Storage’s first quarter of its fiscal year 2024 for the period ended May 7, 2023, revenues of $589.3 million declined 5% decline year-over-year. But subscription revenues of $280.3 million rose 28% year-over-year and annual recurring revenue (ARR) of $1.2 billion was up 29%.
Futurum Research analysts Ron Westfall and Daniel Newman wrote that the subscription growth bodes well for Pure Storage. “From our perspective, Pure Storage attained its YoY breakthroughs in subscription service revenues, subscription ARR, and RPO by providing flash at disk economics through the scale-out of unstructured data repository capabilities,” they noted.
The analysts attributed that to Pure Storage’s FlashBlade//E and delivering its FlashArray Unified Block and File Platform providing unified block and file services. “Our view is that FlashArray is well positioned as a platform to consolidate separate file and block solutions onto a single, all-flash system,” they added. “The unified file services are available across the various FlashArray X, C and XL models supporting a wide range of performance and capacity levels.”
A synopsis of the announcements at Pure//Accelerate follows.
The FlashArray//E is a lower-end alternative to the FlashBlade//E launched in March. Where the FlashBlade//E started at 4 petabytes, the FlashArray//E comes in a smaller form factor covering the 1-4 PB range. Pure Storage said it is $0.20 per GB with three years of support and uses 5x less energy than HDD-based systems. It will support the pending release of new 75TB QLC DirectFlash Modules with built-in non-volatile RAM (DFMDs). Pure Storage believes its DirectFlash will target 300TB flash modules by 2026.
FlashArray//X and FlashArray//C
Pure Storage’s Dan Kogan
Pure Storage claims its new FlashArray//X and FlashArray//C R4 models will deliver up to a 40% performance boost over the current version. “There are no additional costs from a power energy gate footprint in the data center standpoint,” said Pure Storage vice president of product management Dan Kogan. “It has the same small 3 R form factor, just more performance without having to increase your capacity and space around it.”
Evergreen//One Ransomware SLA
Pure Storage’s Taruna Gandhi
Pure Storage is adding ransomware detection and response capabilities to its Evergreen//One software, the company’s storage service offering. Taruna Gandhi, vice president of marketing for Pure Storage, noted that Evergreen//One already offers an uptime SLA with a 25% buffer. “The ransomware recovery SLA guarantees that we will ship them a clean recovery array in the next business day if they are in North America and Europe and a little longer if they are in APJ,” she said.
“In addition to shipping them these guaranteed recovery arrays when they sign up for the service, we work with them to create a recovery plan,” Gandhi said. “When an attack happens, they can initiate that recovery via our technical services engineers, who finalize the recovery plan. We also provide an onsite professional services engineer to make sure that they are able to transfer the data from the infected array on to this new array that has that has been shipped to them.”
Pure Storage expects customers to return the original array within 180 days. “That gives them enough time for whatever investigation that they’re doing,” Gandhi said.
Pure Storage has enhanced its Pure1 management software with added AIOps capability to detect anomalies, perform data protection assessments and self-service SafeMode configuration and administration
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