We’re comparing a pair of enterprise storage leaders in a head-to-head matchup: Pure Storage vs, Hitachi Vantara.
Both tech companies offer market-leading flash-powered storage platform — Pure Storage with its FlashArray products, and Hitachi with its Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) series.
But how do they stack up against each other?
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Pure Storage’s products run on the company’s proprietary compression software, reducing overall data footprint considerably, while maintaining a high degree of data accessibility. The company has also distinguished itself in the enterprise storage realm as being relatively straightforward to use. Their hardware offerings include:
- FlashArray//C: Enterprise-grade all-flash storage arrays, scalable up to 7.3 PB effective storage, 1.9PB raw.
- FlashArray//X: High-throughput Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) storage for mission-critical applications. Up to 3.3 PB effective capacity, up to 878 TB raw.
- FlashArray//XL: Middleground between //C and //X, designed for large databases that also serve low-latency cloud-based applications. Up to 5.5 PB effective, and 1.48 PB raw data storage.
- Flashblade: Individual blades comprise an all-flash, unified and unstructured storage platform for the consolidation of object data. Pure Storage claims this product is used by 25% of Fortune “100” companies. Highly scalable with each additional blade, running up to 150 blades.
- FlashStack: Pay-as-you-use flexible consumption service for on-premises or hybrid cloud environments. Highly scalable.
- AIRA: Rapidly deployable artificial intelligence (AI) at scale.
Hitachi’s VSP series is similar in scope to Pure Storage’s, with the addition of hybrid flash storage solutions to complement all-flash and NVMe solutions. Hitachi’s products have a high storage ceiling, overall.
- Enterprise NVMe Scale Out Data Platform: Capable of handling up to 21 million IOPS and billing itself as the “most economic $/GB rates available” with up to 69 PB of capacity.
- VSP Platform E Series: Enterprise-class, mid-range storage in all-NVMe, hybrid, or all-flash. Up to 6.8M IOPs, and claiming the lowest cost per IOPs in the market. 144PB capacity.
- VSP Platform F Series: All flash, high speed, with 2.4M IOPs and a max 5.7 PB capacity.
- VSP Platform G Series: Hybrid flash for lower cost but high performance. Up to 2.4M IOPS, 287 PB capacity.
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Pure Storage is a 100% partner-driven company, so they place considerable emphasis on their partner programs. Their programs are broken into three divisions:
- Global System Integrators: They deliver storage solutions to mitigate risk and accelerate business initiatives.
- Managed Service Providers (MSPs): Deliver managed services, off-premises or cloud migration, or subscription services to organizations of all sizes.
- Technology Alliance Partners: Work with leading hardware, software, and multicloud vendors
Notable Pure Storage partners include AWS, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, and NVIDIA.
Hitachi’s partner program is global with limited U.S. options. Hitachi says this translates to less partner competition and greater outcomes. Members get access to marketing and sales support, customizable partner portals, and “predictable business models.” Primary partner types are broken into four groups:
- Resell Partners: Value-added resellers, solution providers, and distributors.
- Deliver Partners: Global system integrators, regional service providers, and service providers.
- Manage Partners: Cloud and managed service providers.
- Create Partners: Alliances, independent software vendors (ISVs), developers, OEMs.
Notable partners include Deloitte, Kaspersky Lab, and NordStar Group.
NASA is a data-heavy organization, processing large volumes of information received from its probes, orbital missions, and aerospace engineering labs. Much of NASA’s IT infrastructure has been poised for an update, and decades of legacy hardware are ready to be retired from service. By pairing with Pure Storage, NASA was able to transform its IT services, giving engineers rapid iteration capabilities on their designs and digital modeling. The organization was able to accelerate its development of new ideas by 25%, says Pure Storage, and NASA gained a new support infrastructure for virtual environments for remote workers.
Israeli Aerospace Industries manufactures defensive and offensive aerospace hardware. As the company has grown, the performance of its storage hardware has slowed. Users added more applications to their cloud platform, competing for computing resources in a manner that slowed company performance. Hitachi Vantara’s platform was enlisted by the manufacturer, implementing advanced automated data tiering, a combination of spinning disks with flash drives, and two Virtual Storage Platform G800 arrays, giving Israeli Aerospace an extra 1 PB of capacity. At a separate facility, more Hitachi units were deployed, expanding capacity by another 250 TB. Backup times were cut by 33%, database exports improved by 75%, IT administration workloads were reduced, and the company gained more flexible scalability. Moreover, the flash systems improved web application performance significantly.
High stability, good performance, straightforward setup. The devices don’t seem to require much troubleshooting, but customers find Hitachi’s service to be responsive, nonetheless. Many customers highlight the system’s reliability.
Some users indicate they find the issues with the web console’s speed and design.
Immutable snapshots give data added resiliency against ransomware attacks or other forms of data loss. Customers praise the technical support. The dashboard is fully featured, well-organized, and easy to use. The product performs well. Data that is presented to the host is managed entirely by the host, with minimal user interaction required.
Some users report issues with scalability, data reduction, capacity, and storage ports.
Both companies have received many awards for their offerings, though Pure Storage appears to have outpaced Hitachi in market recognition. Some highlights include:
Best IT Company of the Year, IT Hardware. Customer’s Choice for Primary Storage Arrays, Gartner Peer Insights. #1 for Best All-Flash Storage Arrays, IT Central Station.
IoT Innovator Awards in the IoT Cloud Platform, Silver, IoT Innovator. Computing Excellence Award, IoT Edge.
Both companies emerge in a tight race if graded by the standards above. But it’s important to remember that the companies are targeting slightly different enterprises. Hitachi is maintaining an edge in high-capacity, highly scalable systems, while users of Pure Storage products rave about their sheer simplicity and ease of use. However, Pure Storage relies heavily on its pure-flash arrays, while Hitachi offers hybrid setups. Depending on user preferences, that might tip a scale.
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