Another Pure Storage product announcement means a mouthful for my blog post title. I sometimes struggle to get across the magic of vendor product announcements, so if you want a really good insight into what is going on, check out Dave Henry’s post here. Pure Storage are currently running their Pure//Accelerate event and are making three key announcements today:
- FlashArray//m10; and
- FlashStack CI enhancements.
Pure Storage have done a decent job working with structured storage offerings (think traditional block, databases, and VM workloads). FlashBlade, however, is a file, object, and container-based solution. As always, Pure Storage have come through with what can only be described as a pretty snazzy hardware design.
So what is it then? Basically, it’s 4RU of flash storage, scale-out goodness. To wit:
- 8TB or 52TB scale-out blades
- 15 blades per chassis, offering “elastic” scale at >$1 useable per GB
- 100% flash, 0% SSD
- Low-latency, software-defined (isn’t everything?) 40GbE interconnect
- Scale-out storage software
Note that at General Availability (GA), scalability is limited to one chassis, then going to 2, 3, etc via a fairly aggressive roadmap. So what’s in a FlashBlade?
The blade uses an Intel Xeon-based system on a chip, with 8 full CPUs, integrated NV-RAM, 1 FPGA, 2 x ARM cores and PCIe connectivity amongst other things. As far as the software side of things goes, there are a few things to note:
- Only NFS v3 will be supported at GA, with plans for SMB and HDFS;
- The S3 object support will offer create, read, update, and delete functionality, with further functionality being added post-GA;
- Data services include data reduction and encryption, with snapshots and replication on the to do list;
- They use N+2 erasure coding (so you can lose 2 nodes); and
- They use LDPC error correction.
Pure Storage are claiming 1.6PBs effective storage in 4RU (assuming 3:1 data reduction), which, as scalability improves, will make for some nicely dense solutions on a per rack basis, with very reasonable power usage at 1.3KW /PB.
When can you buy one? Directed availability is in the second half of 2016, with GA shortly thereafter.
I wrote about the “//m” series of FlashArrays when they were announced last year. They’re pretty cool. Pure Storage has now announced the //m10, a smaller version of the previously released models. The //m10 has the following features:
- 12.5TB – 25TB of effective* capacity (5 or 10TB RAW) – *note that effective capacity assumes a 5:1 average data reduction;
- All software is included;
- Evergreen Storage support;
- 1 year of Pure1 support; and
- It’s fully upgradeable to any //m series FlashArray.
Pure Storage have told me these are starting at < US $50K, with GA in Q2 2016.
Enhancements to the current CI platform include SAP Lumira and Microsoft Exchange solutions. Pure Storage are now positioning the FlashStack Mini solution (with the //m10) for around US $100K, which might be appealing given the right circumstances. As always, have a chat to your local Puritan (!) about what might work for you and what it might cost.
Finally, Pure Storage spoke briefly to me about an all-flash hybrid cloud solution on built on Azure and leveraging Equinix or your local DC. they also have an AWS solution coming soon. The key thing of note here is that you’ll get your compute via the public cloud with storage that has all the features you need (primarily performance and security). It’s an interesting concept, and one I’m looking forward to digging into further.
Further Reading and Closing Thoughts
I was enthusiastic about Pure Storage when I had a chance to meet with them at SFD6 and SFD8. They’re saying a lot of the right things and have branched out a fair bit with this latest announcement. Previous feedback I’d had from people I’d talked to in the marketplace was that Pure Storage had a pretty solid offering with their FlashArray (particularly the //m), but what else did they have up their sleeve? Well, now we know, and I think if Pure Storage can execute on a lot of what’s being positioned as post-GA functionality then they’ll have a pretty serious offering. If nothing else, it’s worth having a chat to your local Puritan to hear more.