Pure Storage Announces Forever Flash Maintenance Model

By Pedro Hernandez

Pure Storage, a Mountain View, Calif.-based maker of all-flash storage arrays, has launched a new program called Forever Flash that aims to slash the cost of maintaining and upgrading storage infrastructures.

The new service and maintenance offering consists of two components. Both lock in savings and offer perks for organizations that stick with Pure Storage as they update their SSD-enabled SANs.

According to the company, the Forever Flash program provides:

  • Fresh Every Upgrade - enables customers who are expanding their storage arrays (either by adding capacity or upgrading controllers) to reset their maintenance on the entire array to the then-current first-year rates, typically enabling customers to experience a reduction in the cost/TB of maintenance over time.
  • Free Every Three - enables storage buyers to receive a controller upgrade every three years when they renew their maintenance agreements in years four or seven (an additional two years of maintenance must be purchased at this time to qualify for the controller upgrade). The program also allows customers to pre-buy five years of maintenance, receiving a controller refresh on year three.

Describing current storage maintenance practices as a "3-year upgrade merry-go-round," Matt Kixmoeller, vice president of marketing for Pure, asserted in a blog post that major data storage systems providers "finely-tuned their business model to highly incentivize (some might say force) customers to replace their storage every 3-4 years, whether they need to or not." Customers, faced with a massive maintenance bill at the end of the term will often opt for the most cost-effective solution, a fork-lift upgrade. "We call this Maintenance Extortion," he added.

Kixmoeller also accuses rivals of failing to pass on storage savings on to customers. He wrote that "in a world where storage gets less expensive per-TB every year, most customers have their maintenance rates actually rise per-TB over time – which doesn’t exactly seem right."

Pure Storage CEO Scott Dietzen said in a statement that as solid-state drives (SSDs) displace hard disk drives (HDD) in the enterprise, data storage costs will plummet to the "to the lowest levels we've ever seen." Efficient flash-based technologies will play its part in reducing costs, while "the other part will come from innovative vendors who put an end to archaic industry practices including out-of-control maintenance contracts and the need to forklift-upgrade equipment every three to five years," he added.

451 Research vice president Simon Robinson said in prepared remarks that the enterprise storage company has cooked up "a fresh—and long overdue—alternative to the traditional storage sales model." He expects Forever Flash to be "well-received by customers."

Forever Flash is available now through most partners, said the company. Pure Storage cautions that participation may vary.

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

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on February 07, 2014