I was very excited to be part of the Pure Storage® global sales kick off this week. Every person I’ve ever worked with at Pure oozes so much quality that it is hardly surprising to see them be as successful as they are. It’s easy to be facetious with a valuable partner of Catalogic, but I am happy to put my money where my mouth is – I am an active shareholder of Pure Storage as well, in fact probably the only storage focused stock in my portfolio.
Since the announcement of our joint solution at VMworld 2016, Catalogic has worked together with Pure on several strategic accounts where our software stack added application consistency and application awareness to their snapshot and replication technology known as FlashRecover. It helps them compete effectively against the AppSyncs and SnapManagers, but also avoids losing secondary footprint to companies that sell data protection appliances, whether they call them modern or bricked or hyper-converged or next gen or whatever.
As a provider of snapshot management capabilities across many different storage platforms, I know that Pure Storage FlashArrays are some of the most optimized flash arrays in the industry. When those snapshot copies are idle, they conserve space like marathon runners conserve energy, and when they are working for you to drive real business outcomes, they are the Usain Bolts in the industry. Their arrays are even better than those of some of the traditional vendors that have become billion dollar companies on just their snapshot and data management story. Here is my take on why:
1. Global dedupe and compression everywhere, even on the snaps
Pure deduplication works across all data, period. Some vendors’ data reduction works on the base volumes, but usually not across the snapshots. This means other vendors may start with 50-60% savings during install and POC, but die down to 25-30% savings after you add 30-40 snaps. Pure, on the other hand, delivers astronomical data reduction numbers!
2. Every snapshot is independent
If you’ve ever run into a “LUN Busy” condition, you know what I am talking about. Snaps get locked within snaps and you have to untangle a chain of snaps to delete one. Pure has made every snapshot independent of another and that allows snaps of snaps, a very helpful and viable use case for branching copies and versions.
3. Screaming Speeds
Flash helps. Good technology behind it helps even more. Despite their industry leading data reduction, the performance doesn’t suffer at all. Perhaps their largest customer and a leading network provider told me that Pure was the only storage that they ever tested that delivered out-of-the-box performance that matched what they get with other platforms after 3 months of fine tuning.
4. Count on not counting it
With the latest version of the Purity operating system, they just increased the number of snaps from 5,000 per array to 50,000. Yeah, you read that right! That’s an overnight increase of 10x more snaps and probably a ton more than you’ll ever need. Unlike AppSync that limits you to using 20 concurrent copies before starting to nickel and dime you with license increases, our controller-based infinite licensing lets you make all the copies you want, expand the array capacity as much as you want, run as many applications, databases or VMs as you want, and you’ll never have to worry about updating your licensing unless you add a new array.
5. Deliver More From Less
All of the above mentioned goodness means a user can get so much more value out of their FlashArray purchase. Users need to run dev-test workloads, process analytics and build data warehouses. Traditionally, this meant creating full clone copies on additional storage, putting data on fresh spindles to get enough IOPs and waiting for long, slow copy cycles. But with Pure Storage, you can drive all these workloads right from a single snapshot, meaning you can eliminate unnecessary hardware dedicated to copy data clones or backup appliances, and easily justify investing in flash. When you do the math, the savings are really amazing (and don’t forget power and cooling reductions). There aren’t many self-fulfilling loops in a competitive market, but this one explains why they are so successful.
We are very excited that at the sales kickoff Pure Storage announced Catalogic’s ability to now run as a container right on their storage arrays – one of only two vendors that can do it today (Platform9 is the other). This means a customer can not only refrain from buying separate hardware dedicated for their copies, but even the snapshot management software can run right on the array. Pure solution architects treated themselves to the technology goodness in a separate breakout session on our joint solution.
While preparing their teams for a bright 2017 and celebrating their successful 2016, Pure also found plenty of time to promote charity. One of the beneficiaries is an organization named the Udaan India Foundation, an NGO focused on providing access to quality education to out-of-school girls in remote parts of India. I am glad they chose a place close to my home where these dollars stretch a lot further and support a cause close to my heart. One of my business school proposals for social engineering is the creation of a Kiva-like microfinance service to provide access to higher education to promising students who can’t otherwise afford it. If I hadn’t gotten all those scholarships back when I was in school, I couldn’t be working with some of the best and brightest minds in my industry today. And I know it pays back better than any investment I’ve ever made.
Like their wonderful hardware, Pure expertly put together an event in which commerce thrived, champagne flowed, the future was revealed and several well deserving charities won. It was indeed Pure Goodness!