Pure Storage Charts A Course To The Future Of Big Data

Pure Accelerate 2017 logo
Pure Accelerate 2017 logo

Pure Storage made a bundle of announcements at its 2nd annual Accelerate conference in San Francisco today.

It says it has added 25 new software features to its platforms that will further expand its appeal and fill in some gaps in its offerings.

The new ActiveCluster synchronous replication feature brings synchronous replication to the platform as a software upgrade in the Purity FA 5 release for the FlashArray product line. It will be freely available to all customers on supported FlashArray models, and provides an active-active cluster for two arrays provided they have an IP network with less than 5ms latency between them.

“People don’t want their life to suck just because they decided to protect their data,” said Tabriz Holz, Engineering Lead for ActiveCluster. She explained that customers don’t really want to pay much more just to have synchronous replication, and don’t want the hassle of a separately licensed feature. She called it a subscription to innovation which was a term in regular use by the company during the conference.

ActiveCluster fills a gap that has been much requested by European customers in particular, and should drive growth in this region.

Pure has also added lots of capability to its denser FlashBlade platform. FlashBlade will now scale up to 75 blades, providing up to 8 petabytes of storage space in a single namespace.

A Pure Storage flash blade.
A Pure Storage DirectFlash module. The red board indicates it is an internal engineering prototype not to be used by customers.

Purity FB 2, the operating system used by FlashBlade, will support VMware VVOLs using a highly available VASA provider that is hosted on the array. A VVOL on the FlashBlade array is just a volume, and can be mounted directly from the array, providing a useful mechanism for moving data into and out of VMware. Purity FA 5 will also support VVOLs.

Pure is also conscious that it needs to be an attractive choice for workloads both today and in the future. It is specifically aiming to provide features that new developers are looking for, like adding an S3 object interface to FlashBlade which implements a native object store inside the array.

FlashArray will also support a feature called Purity Run, which allows customers to run containers on the array itself. This is not an HCI play, and Pure explicitly called out that it will not be marketing the feature as HCI. It is designed for specific workloads that work best when co-located to the data on which they operate. I can imagine adding something like DataGravity via Purity Run to add extra analytics and insight to the Pure Storage based data platform.