Pure Storage all-flash beats street, adds StorReduce dedupe

Pure Storage all-flash sales helped the vendor close a strong quarter in July, generating $309 million to beat its top-end guidance.  The revenue figure represents a 37% increase from the $224.7 million Pure reported for the same period a year ago.

Pure became profitable in March when it cracked $1 billion in revenue.  Last quarter, the all-flash pioneer posted a loss of $60.1 million and 26 cents per share. Adjusted earnings were 1 cent per share on net income of $2.4 million. The Wall Street consensus for Pure was revenue between $301 million and $307 million and a loss of 6 cents to 8 cents a share.

Pure Storage also snuck in its first acquisition since going public in 2015, picking up cloud-based deduplication software startup StorReduce for an undisclosed sum. StorReduce deduplication adds a missing ingredient to Pure’s scale-out FlashBlade NAS.

Analytics, consolidation fuel ‘million-dollar wins’

The Mountain View, Calif.-based storage vendor said product revenues topped $241 million, up 34% year over year, and nearly $68 million came from subscription software, a 51% jump. U.S.-based enterprise customers accounted for nearly three-quarters of Pure’s sales activity.

Pure Storage CEO Charles Giancarlo said end-to-end NVMe-based FlashArray//X produced more than half of all shipments last quarter. Pure introduced the X Series in May as the successor to its flagship FlashArray//M family.

“Our competitors are just beginning to bring their NVMe offerings to market, and only in their highest priced products. The speed of adoption of our (FlashArray)X family has been impressive” and is expected to provide the bulk of Pure Storage all-flash revenue by year’s end, Giancarlo said.

Pure Storage FlashArray is a block and file system with a massively parallel software architecture to manage flash. Early iterations of FlashArray were designed for traditional SSDs or PCIe-connected NVMe flash. The advent of FlashArray//X incorporated Pure Storage all-flash DirectFlash NVMe modules, although the dual-controller array also allows customers to use SAS and SATA SSDs.

The vendor said more than 400 corporate logos were added during the quarter, bringing Pure’s total to 5,150 customers.  That equates to about six net-new customers per day, including a “number of million-dollar wins,” Pure Storage president David Hatfield said.

New Pure Storage customers include Desjardin Group, Honda Federal Credit Union, MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, New York Genome Center, Royal Bank of Canada and TaxSlayer.

“We were particularly pleased with our progress selling into the cloud, healthcare and financial services segments. Our cloud segment continues to represent approximately 30% of our overall business and enjoys the highest win and repeat purchase rates across our customers,” Hatfield said.

New use cases emerge for FlashBlade

Although Giancarlo declined to break out by percentage of revenue, he said Pure Storage all-flash customers are adapting the FlashBlade platform for AI, analytics, backup and rapid restore.

FlashBlade adoption was aided by repeat purchases of large customers and “a material number” of new customers. That includes enterprises implementing AI workloads on Pure AIRI, which combines FlashBlade storage with Nvidia DGX GPU-based supercomputers.

Hatfield said StorReduce inline deduplication will bolster Pure FlashBlade to better manage unstructured data in multicloud environments. The vendor said it would share details on the StorReduce integration in coming months. StorReduce CEO Vanessa Wilson and an undisclosed number of StorReduce employees are reportedly joining Pure Storage.

“We don’t have dedupe in FlashBlade today and this is a natural fit. But in the broader equation here, often times we meet customers that have hundreds of petabytes of data. Bringing tens of petabytes to flash probably isn’t realistic. We get into discussions on how to move tens of petabytes to flash and place the rest of the data in the cloud,” Hatfield said.

StorReduce has “created a number of cloud partnerships as well, and we intend to embrace and extend those partnerships,” Hatfield added.

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