Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Wednesday, March 29, 2017
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Pure Storage Upgrades Flash Arrays, Expands With Cisco 

All-flash storage leader Pure Storage rolled out a petabyte-scale storage array this week while also expanding its collaboration with Cisco Systems on a converged infrastructure initiative.

Pure Storage (NYSE: PSTG), Mountain View, Calif., announced availability on Wednesday (Oct. 12) of the latest version of its all-flash storage array. The fifth generation of the flagship FlashArray//m is billed as scaling to up to 512 terabytes of raw flash storage, which according to the company translates to an estimated 1.5 petabytes of effective storage capacity.

The resulting scaling and density would allow cloud IT operators to consolidate multiple racks of legacy disk storage down to 7U of rack space.

The vendor is aiming its "smart" storage platform at public and private clouds, software-as-a-service users, or a mix of all three. It also touted the higher availability of its all-flash array via its resilient architecture and a cloud-based predictive analytics platform incorporated last year to resolve availability issues. The company claims only 31.5 seconds of storage downtime on average per year.

Pure Storage said the new all-flash array also addresses a quality-of-service issue known as "noisy neighbors." That's a reference to applications running in a storage array that starve the performance of other applications on the same array. The feature detects and "throttle[s] the problem application down" to ensure that each application gets its share of array performance.

The company added that the QoS feature works for most use cases and lays the groundwork for future policy-driven QoS extensions.

Pure Storage said new versions of its FlashArray//m in several configurations are shipping now. Its "always-on" QoS feature will be available for production workloads during the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, the storage vendor said Thursday (Oct. 13) it is expanding its collaboration with partner Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) on their FlashStack converged infrastructure push in datacenters.

FlashStack incorporates Pure Storage flash arrays with Cisco's Unified Computing System as the partners seek to offer a converged platform for a growing array of IT workloads. The latest version bundles the low-end FlashArray//m with the Cisco computing platform's fabric interconnect hardware along with virtualization software from either Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) or VMware (NYSE: VMW), the partners said.

Along with Cisco's datacenter design running on FlashStack for Oracle's (NYSE: ORCL) Database 12c, Pure Storage also said the FlashStack collaboration also targets datacenter workloads including Microsoft SQL Server and Exchange, SAP HANA, VMware vSphere and Nvidia vGPU.

Prior to launching a $400 million initial public offering this time last year, Pure Storage was making steady headway in areas such as database acceleration, virtualized server clouds and virtual desktop infrastructure. The goal has been to capitalize on the shift for all-flash non-volatile memory as customers look for ways to accelerate databases without having to move from relational databases to in-memory or NoSQL data stores.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 25 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as Executive Editor for Electronic Engineering Times.

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