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Pure says users can upgrade the same all-flash array for a decade

Stephen Lawson | June 2, 2015
Enterprise storage is a long-term bet. Pure Storage, a growing maker of all-flash arrays, is reshuffling the deck on that gamble in a way that might save IT departments time and money.

Pure gets around having to make customers do this because its arrays are software-defined, said Matt Kixmoeller, the company's vice president of products. It builds new generations of controllers, the computing elements that operate the underlying flash drives, from commodity components like the latest Intel processors.

The way Pure sells this approach is with Forever Flash, a software and service plan that includes new controller upgrades every three years. Forever Flash is designed to work like SaaS (software as a service) with regular, predictable payments instead of periodic hardware purchases, Kixmoeller said. It costs about what a typical software and service plan for a storage array would, roughly 8 percent to 10 percent of the system's purchase price, he said.

On Monday, the company introduced another wrinkle in its maintenance offerings, this one designed for users who need to upgrade their hardware performance more often than every three years. Called Upgrade Flex Bundles, it gives customers credit for the controllers they swap out early.

The new array that Pure introduced Monday, called FlashArray//m, takes advantage of the ever-increasing performance of Intel processors. Its two controllers are based on the Haswell generation of chips, and the system delivers 50 percent higher performance, 2.6 times the density of storage and 2.4 times the power efficiency per terabyte, compared with the previous Pure array, the company says. There are three versions of controllers available, with the top model able to handle more than 400TB of usable storage and 300,000 IOPS (in/out operations per second).

The FlashArray//m is expected to become generally available in the third quarter.

Also on Monday, the company introduced Pure1, a cloud-based management and support platform that lets customers, Pure support staff and partners collaborate in managing and supporting storage systems.

 

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