Storage Field Day Exclusive at Pure//Accelerate 2017 – General Session Notes

Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 13.  My flights, accommodation and other expenses were paid for by Tech Field Day and Pure Storage. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.


Here are my General Session notes from Day 1 of Pure//Accelerate 2017. I’ll be digging into some of the announcements in the very near future so this is just a rough teaser. I call it death by dot point.


David Hatfield

David Hatfield in a Dubs cap. Sorry about the traffic, but it can be hard “[w]hen you setup an event for 3000 people in kind of a crack area?.” He then talks about Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Thanks to people for coming a long way (some travelled around 36 hours). 227800 square feet of space. Used for manufacture of iron originally. This will be the last event ever in this building. Will be knocked down soon. There’s also a 110 feet wide screen, 420 million pixels, FlashBlade helps to render.

“New and Possible”

  • 25 new software capabilities, new hardware, new cloud capabilities, new partners (friendships?)
  • “The new possible” – Help you break free from legacy way of doing things.
  • New – look around and identify what real innovation looks like.

Partner and sponsor shoutout

  • It takes an ecosystem of partners to help too, and sponsors as well.
  • Shoutout to Veeam – will be directly integrating Veeam and Pure Storage in next release of Availability Suite (v10?)
  • Cisco – FlashStack (over 1400 customers together). 7 CVDs in place at the moment. 2 new offers – NVMe over Fabric to the host, Cisco Capital – full offering for FlashStack


Scott Dietzen

Scott Dietzen (CEO) takes the stage, and reclaims his Dubs cap. Am I in the right place? I knew I was when I got inside. Blue is the colour of so many of our competitors, but it’s a Warriors cap, so it’s okay.

This is our second //Accelerate conference. Thanks to 3300 customers (and partners).

“The world’s most valuable resource is data”

  • Companies are competing to amass huge datasets (are they doing useful things with it though?)
  • AI rates only behind cloud and mobile in terms of impact people think it will have
  • “Massively parallel AI demands massively parallel storage”

“By the year 2020 the amount of data created will be 50+ zettabytes”

  • Capacity of the Internet will only be 2.5 zettabytes
  • It’s going to stored close to where it’s generated

A new model for DCs

  • Multi-cloud
  • Core
  • Edge

Pure uses tonnes of SaaS to run its business, but it also has its own DCs. Believes Edge is going to be larger than multi-cloud and core together because of IoT, etc.


Disruptors? (based on a recent survey)

  • The digital gold rush
  • The great workload debate
  • Cloud: migrations and mistakes
  • Data: taking back control

Multi-cloud = photo of Snoop Dogg blazing. Pure are looking to deliver “The data platform for the cloud era”.



  • Big data bandwidth
  • Performance for deep learning
  • ultra-density
  • Uptime
  • Subscription to innovation


Tomorrow’s cloud block:

  • 1300 cores
  • 2.6PB Flash
  • 2x density and 5x performance improvement (for leading SaaS company)
  • 100x reduction in space for enterprise DC (20 racks -> 4RU)

$1B revenue and cash flow positive, 6th year in selling

All the new software updates are given to customers for free


Liz Centoni

Liz Centoni (Cisco SVP and GM, Computing Systems Product Group) takes the stage to talk with Scott Dietzen.

Every DC was built to do one thing: run applications. But these applications are changing – how they’re built, where they reside, etc. They’re a lot more distributed. A lot more endpoints to manage and secure.

How does FlashStack help?

  • Helps customers build their private cloud infrastructure
  • This year – adding hybrid cloud (via Cisco CloudCenter)

FlightStats example

Servers existed before DCs or cloud. Customers want any workload, anywhere

  • Compute is moving closer to the data.
  • Security is top of mind for everyone.
  • UCS is a “system” – fabric-centric design, 100% programmable, 60K customers.
  • Start small and scale

What about the impact of NVMe?

  • SSDs changed the storage bottleneck, but NVMe really puts it back on the network. Cisco is happy about having the opportunity to improve the performance of the whole stack.


Kelli Zielinski

Kelli Zielinski, Domino’s takes the stage. Traditional arrays just weren’t keeping up. Invested in Pure Storage FlashStack. Now “[t]he application gets what it needs”.


Matt Kixmoeller

Matt Kixmoeller takes the stage. It’s the “dawn of a new cloud era – yet the old never really disappears”.


  • Reduce
  • Assure
  • Protect
  • Secure
  • Direct Flash


  • Manage
  • Analyse
  • Support
  • Meta

FlashBlade for big data, FlashArray//X for low latency/high IOPS apps

It’s time for software to take centre stage – 25 new features (delivered in an Evergreen fashion)


Tier 1

  • “no one ever got fired for buying [blue]”.
  • You want reliability and innovation (dedupe, compression, simple, automated, open cloud integration, NVMe, NVMe/F)
  • Delivered 2 years of 6 9s since GA

Metro Stretch Cluster – 1994 – EMC launched SRDF – 20 years later – still hard and expensive.


Purity//FA 5.0

Purity ActiveCluster.

Steve Hodgson (Software Architect) does a brief demo on setup.


Jason Nadeau

Jason Nadeau takes the stage.

  • Compression 2.0 – 25% improvement – self-selecting compression engines
  • Simplest VVols implementation in the industry
  • Granular VM-level operations and transparency
  • Cloud automation and security compliance


Purity//FA Snap and CloudSnap

“Portable snapshot”

  • Snap Local
  • Snap to FlashArray
  • Snap to FlashBlade
  • Snap to NFS
  • CloudSnap to AWS
  • DeltaSnap to API

So now you can:

  • Native, two-way cloud connection
  • Backup, restore, migrate, and DR
  • Fully leverage all PaaS services


Purity //Run

  • Run VMs and Containers Directly on Purity
  • Ideal for Edge Analytics, Custom protocols
  • Flexible, open, secure, HA platform


Windows File Services for Purity

  • Best of Breed – FlashArray meets MS File services


DirectFlash Shelf

  • Native NVMe/F expansion shelf (photo)


“The new Tier 1 is Evergreen”


Arthur Riel

Arthur Riel (Director, The World Bank) takes the stage. The World Bank is neither Wall Street nor Main Street. Their job is to decrease poverty. When he got there, they were a risk-averse organisation (“Let’s keep doing what we’re doing because it works”).

  • But “[i]f I save money and can’t deliver my services what good is that?”.
  • “Slow storage covers up a lot of sins up the stack”


Sumit Dhawan

Sumit Dhawan (runs EUC at VMware) talks with Scott Dietzen.

“Tech is going out of tech” you need a more platform-centric approach (?)

Dietzen: Is it hard to work with us when your parent company is Dell? (I’m paraphrasing).


Par Botes and Rob Lee

Par Botes and Rob Lee take the stage to talk about FlashBlade.

  • “The big bang of intelligence”
  • Medium blade – 17TB (fits in between 8TB and 52TB)
  • 75 blade-scale FlashBlade (start as small as 7 blades, scale 1 at a time)


Why Object Storage?

  • Cloud-native applications use object storage
  • Next-generation developers code with object
  • Cloud primary storage is object
  • >10x faster time to first byte vs S3
  • >100x faster indexing image objects vs existing solution at leading web scale company

Brian Gold joins them on stage – it’s about AI from edge to cloud


Rob Ober

Rob Ober (Tesla Chief Platform Architect, Nvidia) takes the stage with Scott Dietzen.

Deep learning (about 5 years ago) has taken off because of:

  • Neural nets (this have been around a while)
  • Massive amounts of data (tremendous volumes)
  • Computation

“You need good data”


Sandeep Singh

Sandeep Singh on stage to talk about self-driving storage

  • Automate and simplify
  • Sense and model world around
  • Constantly learn and re-train
  • Global effect


>7PB telemetry data

> 1 trillion data points per day



>500 Sev1 incidents avoided to date


Performance sizing has been the final frontier

  • Too many variables
  • Complex interaction and inter-dependencies
  • Over provisioning = wasted expense
  • under-provisioning = downtime

This is a perfect problem for AI and machine learning.


Pure1 Meta

  • Global sensor network
  • real-time scanning
  • data lake
  • AI engine


Sergey Zhuravlev, Chief Data Scientist

  • >1000 measures
  • “workload DNA”
  • Meta learns from everyone’s workloads to make better predictions
  • Meta Workload Planner


David Hatfield takes the stage to wrap up. Here’s a summary of today’s announcements.


Purity//FA 5.0

  • ActiveCluster
  • Snap to FlashBlade
  • Windows File Services for FlashArray (SMB and NFS)
  • Policy QoS
  • Snap to NFS
  • Compression 2.0
  • VVols
  • Hybrid Cloud for AWS
  • Microsoft ODX
  • CloudSnap to AWS
  • Purity /Run
  • Docker Persistent Volumes


Purity//FB 2.0

  • Object / S3
  • SMB
  • Snapshots
  • Scale to 75 Blades
  • HTTP
  • REST
  • LDAP
  • IPv6



  • Pure1 Meta
  • Workload Planner
  • Cloud Mediator
  • Global Dashboard
  • Workload DNA
  • Cloud REST


Good session. 4 stars. Stephen did a nice live blog as well – you can read it here.