Pure Storage is shipping the third generation of its all-flash enterprise storage arrays, which the firm claims is more cost effective than using spinning disks due to lower power consumption and simpler management.
Available immediately, Pure's third-generation storage platform comprises new FlashArray 400 controllers with a new 12TB drive shelf option and updated Purity software, offering capabilities such as non-disruptive upgrades and cloud-based monitoring of subsystem reliability.
Pure claimed that all-flash arrays are now gaining acceptance in enterprise, at least for Tier 1 storage, hence its new "flash for all" branding to accompany the launch.
Pure Storage marketing vice president Matt Kixmoeller told V3: "Three or four years ago when Pure Storage started, it was a pretty lonely space talking about all-flash enterprise storage. The mantra from the big guys has been about a little bit of flash combined with a lot of disk, but when EMC finally jumped into the market last year and acquired XtremIO, it started to shift people's mindset.
"Flash used to be all about databases, but now we see a lot of adoption in both the server virtualisation and VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) space," he added.
In Pure's vision, the optimal model for enterprise storage is an all-flash Tier 1 layer backed by conventional disk or hybrid arrays at Tier 2. This contrasts with alternatives that make use of a small amount of flash as a "Tier 0", often located inside each server itself.
"Now that Pure Storage has driven the cost of all-flash storage down in line with the same cost of disk, we can now very credibly go to a customer and say that flash is a key tool to drive down the cost of storage, because you will see huge savings in power and space, and manageability," Kixmoeller said.
The new FlashArray 400 controller hardware offers double the performance over the previous generation, offering 400,000 8K IOPS (input/output operations per second), and is also capable of scaling to about 100TB of usable storage, according to the firm.
This latter figure depends on how well data can be reduced, with Pure using de-duplication and compression on all data as standard in the Purity software that powers its controllers.
Purity 3.0 also adds a slew of new features, including "Non-Disruptive Everything", which refers to the ability for a customer to upgrade the controller, storage capacity and software in an array without any downtime, according to the firm.
"When you are shipping an array designed for enterprise write consolidation with hundreds or thousands of applications running on it, you just can't take it down for an outage," said Kixmoeller.
Meanwhile, the ZeroSnap snapshot technology gains an Accelerated VM Cloning feature, which supports VMware's XCOPY API to offload virtual machine (VM) cloning to the array itself.
"This takes advantage of the fact that all the snapshots in the flash array are totally metadata, so we can literally clone a thousand VMs in about half an hour. It's a great feature for VDI customers," Kixmoeller said.
Also new is CloudAssist, which sends telemetry from each array to a Pure Storage cloud service for analysis in order to detect any developing faults as early as possible. The advantage of this arrangement is that it does not take resources from the array, and the analytics improves by having access to data from many customers.
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