Pure Storage FlashBlade: Product Overview and Insight

See the full list of Top 10 Leading Flash Storage Vendors

Bottom Line:

Pure Storage is completely focused on flash arrays. It offers plenty of raw power and is a good option for those looking to add a higher performance storage tier. For those already with heavy investments in Dell EMC, IBM or NetApp infrastructures, however, arrays from those vendors may offer easier integration as well as the opportunity for deals involving multiple products from one vendor.

For those wishing to operate on block or object storage, Pure Storage is a good option. FlashBlade was built for and is targeted to the enterprise and the largest, most data-intensive workloads. However, the company also lacks the full range of data services available from the likes of Dell EMC and NetApp.

Jump toPure Storage Flashblade Features Table

Company Description:

Pure Storage didn’t exist until 2007 and has always exclusively built and sold all-flash arrays. Pure Storage data solutions enable SaaS companies, cloud service providers, and enterprise and public-sector customers to deliver real-time, secure data in a multi-cloud environment. It boasts a Satmetrix-certified NPS customer satisfaction score in the top one percent of B2B companies.

Pure has been named a Leader in the Gartner MQ for Solid State Arrays for the past four years. According to Gartner analyst Valdis Filks, “Pure Storage had a vision and a plan to move SSAs into new market segments and create a broader product portfolio, and it has successfully achieved its goal.”

High marks were given for increasing raw storage capacity, introducing low-latency all-NVMe flash arrays, and FlashBlade. Partnerships with Cisco were also noted. However, Filks mentioned competitors catching up, the fact that compression and deduplication cannot be disabled and some limits to array controller resources. It boasts a Satmetrix-certified NPS customer satisfaction score in the top one percent of B2B companies. Customers include Toyota, LinkedIn, FlexPrint and BPL Global.

Product Description:

Pure Storage FlashBlade is scale-out storage for infrastructure that disaggregates compute, networking, and data storage. A broad range of data-intensive applications leverage this deployment model, from data recovery and data warehouse workloads to Spark and AI.

FlashBlade is said to be the only flash platform that delivers file and object storage. Most recently, the company has announced AIRI. Architected by Pure Storage and NVIDIA, AIRI extends Pure Storage FlashBlade and NVIDIA DGX-1 to provide an AI-Ready Infrastructure. 

Key Features:

Implementation: 

Very good. FlashBlade is a plug-and-use system approximately the size of a large microwave that can be provisioned and ready to run within a matter of hours.

Technical support:

Very good. The company has a Satmetrix-certified NPS customer satisfaction score in the top one percent of B2B companies. However, growth in the number of customers may be causing some issues.

Capacity:

* For FlashBlade: The largest raw capacity for a 15-blade system is 792 TB of raw NAND capacity (useable capacity of around 500TB.

* For AIRI: AIRI can be purchased in multiple configurations. Customers can purchase AIRI, one FlashBlade and four NVIDIA DGX-1 supercomputers, or AIRI Mini, a 1/2 ratio. AIRI scales linearly, so customers can continue to add more capacity and operate AIRI as a single system. 

Performance:

Single-chassis throughput up to 15 GB/s. Multi-chassis system can support up to 75 GB/s. 

Single chassis, 1.5M IOPs and 15 blade system, 7.5M IOPS.

Latency 250 microseconds.

“FlashBlade is just 4U, but provides the same performance as 50 racks of our legacy storage sitting in the same data center,” said the Manager of High Performance Computing Support at an MSP.

RAID/Data Protection:

  • DR
  • Encryption
  • Clustering
  • 6 x 9’s availability

Storage Saving Features:

Thin provisioning and compression

Data Management:

  • FlashBlade Purity is a massively distributed key-value pair database that delivers high performance regardless of data type or size
  • S3 object support. FlashBlade is object-first, enabling it to deliver high performance
  • Massively parallel design designed to eliminate any serial bottleneck
  • Supports file and object storage
  • Cloud management
  • Workload planning
  • Predictive analytics

NVMe: The company offers an all-NVMe version of FlashBlade.

Delivery:

Stand-alone storage systems, starting at 4U in a rack and scaling up to 22U.

Pricing:

Prices starting in the $100Ks. 

Pure Storage FlashBlade

Features
Scale-up Yes
Scale-out Yes
Capacity
Raw capacity (no deduplication) 792 TB
Effective capacity 8 PB
Networking (Max speed in Gbps)
Fibre Channel 16 Gbs
Ethernet/iSCSI 10 Gbs
Infiniband No
FCoE No
Performance
IOPs 7.5M
Throughput 75 GB/s
Latency 250 microsecs
Storage Saving Features
Deduplication Yes
Compression Yes
Thin provisioning Yes
Management
Data encryption Yes
Snapshots Yes
Replication (synch or asynch?) Both
Availability
Percentage uptime (ex.: 99.999) 6 x 9
Non-disruptive software upgrades Yes
Non-disruptive hardware upgrades Yes
Warranty/Support
Base warranty: array Yes
Base warranty: flash Yes
Flash replacement if drive/module wears out before warranty expires? Yes
Gartner Magic Quadrant Rating Leader
Price Starts over $100,000
Drew Robb
Drew Robb has been a full-time professional writer and editor for more than twenty years. He currently works freelance for a number of IT publications, including eSecurity Planet and CIO Insight. He is also the editor-in-chief of an international engineering magazine.

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