All-flash upstart Pure Storage announces array that banishes upgrade cycles and lets customers adhere to Moore’s Law
All-flash storage provider Pure Storage has announced a flagship flash array that can be continually upgraded because of its modular characteristics.
Called FlashArray//m, and part of Pure Storage’s Evergreen Storage model, the array claims to get rid of the three- to five-year replace storage lifecycle because all of the parts are upgradeable and interchangeable.
James Petter, VP EMEA at Pure Storage, told TechWeekEurope that the release is the next wave of his company’s disruptive evolution, and allows customers to adhere to Moore’s Law in flash storage.
“In my old world, I would’ve had an array that would have depreciated over a certain time period,” said Petter, who has been in the storage industry for almost 20 years. “I then would come to the point where I would have to buy something new, and I would have had a maintenance bill. I would then buy that new product and go on this merry-go-round of having to install it, migrate it, run the old and new together. That process continues across every customer every fourth year, seventh year, tenth year, because that’s just the way the model has been built.”
Petter, who left storage rival EMC for Pure Storage in February of this year, claimed that this modular design is like no other product on the market. “No other companies are doing this,” said Petter. “The Evergreen Storage model is unique in the market. We’ve seen these other companies surviving on their maintenance dollars for so many years that we think there’s a better way. We think it’s wasteful, expensive, and extremely risky. With our solution, you don’t have that risk.”
FlashArray//m, with the M presumably standing for ‘mini’, is said to be around the size of a microwave. “Pure Storage has shrunk storage arrays that were once the size of multiple refrigerators,” said the company is a release statement. Petter said that if every Tier 1 array in the world, around 450,000, was replaced with a FlashArray//m, we could get rid of two nuclear power stations and 1.3 million storage racks because of the product’s size and the density of capacity it can offer.
The modular, customisable, and upgradable hardware design means that customers can scale from a single application of 15 TB up to nearly ½ petabyte of usable storage, said the company. Pure Storage will be able to deliver both processor and flash upgrades approximately every nine- to 12 months with its Evergreen Storage model, and enables customers to adopt these upgrades within their existing FlashArrays “without data migration, downtime or performance impact”.
The FlashArray//m delivers up to 300,000 32K IOPS at less than one millisecond average latency and up to nine gigabytes per second bandwidth.
“Today, even when a customer buys the latest storage array, newer replacement equipment lies just around the corner, ready to render the current deployment obsolete. To refresh their technology, customers endure upgrade costs and hours of decreased performance or service interruptions during their ‘forklift upgrades’,” said Matt Kixmoeller, vice president of products, Pure Storage.
“The Evergreen Storage model changes all this completely. Now customers can invest in a storage platform that can add value to their businesses for a decade or more, and make individual component, non-disruptive upgrades to capacity and/or performance when required by the business. This flat, predictable, SaaS-like procurement model further lowers the bar for customers to bring all-flash storage into their data centers, unlocking both business and IT transformation.”
The FlashArray//m has been tested in a widespread Beta program since Q1, 2015 and is expected to be available through a global Directed Availability program in July, enabling fully-supported production deployments.
In April, Pure Storage was rumoured to be preparing for an IPO, with insider sources telling Reuters that the company had hired underwriters and investments from Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Barclays were likely to be on the cards. Last year Pure Storage, which was founded in 2009, was valued at $3 billion, with the company announcing in February that it had seen 300 percent revenue growth year-on-year fending January.