Pure Storage Redesigns FlashArray

Posted on June 01, 2015 By Pedro Hernandez


Pure Storage is looking to shrink the data center, or at least its flash-enabled storage infrastructure.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of all-flash storage systems, today announced its new flagship, the FlashArray//m. Representing a "complete re-think of the design," Pure approached the new hardware from two perspectives, Bill Cerreta, the company's engineering director, told InfoStor.

First, the new arrays can accommodate more flash capacity in less space. Describing the solution as "very dense platform," Cerreta revealed that a FlashArray//m can pack "120 terabytes in a 3U chassis." Another design innovation is a flash module that "holds two SSDs, which are gated by the flash controller." In effect, the each module can deliver "twice the density and twice the performance," over competing, single-SSD implementations, he added.

All told, the new array provides a 50 percent performance increase over its predecessor, thanks in large part to a new PCIe-based back-end interconnect and NV-RAM write cache. The m70 controller option proves scalability of up to 400 usable terabytes (TB) of storage and a 300,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS) rating. Also available are the m20 and m50 versions, with lower capacity and IOPS.

In addition to taking up less rack space, the new storage systems are 2.4 times more power efficient per TB over past FlashArrays. Plus, data center technicians won't be spending all day getting the system up and running. "You only need to attach six cables," to deploy the newest FlashArray hardware, Cerreta said. In the company's labs, "we take an array out of a box, rack it and commission it in 15 minutes," he reported.

The company also announced Pure1, a new cloud-based management and support offering that allows the company to supply its customers with "a proactive support experience," said Brian Schwarz, director of product management.

Since all of the company's arrays "are phone-home capable," the Pure has been able to amass and analyze a large set of telemetry data, said Schwarz. Upon that data, the company built a set of technologies that paves the way for automatic, proactive support. A mobile-friendly SaaS application provides systems monitoring and management from any Internet-connected tablet.

Finally, the company announced Evergreen Storage, a new business model the company claims will make forklift upgrades a thing of the past. With a blend of hardware, software and service offerings, customers can keep their Pure storage environments remain "evergreen" with non-disruptive upgrades, continual software updates and hardware refreshes that eliminate costly storage migration projects.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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