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Pure Storage: flash is a means, not an end, to shared data

SAN FRANCISCO – Pure Storage will push the theme of a “data-centric architecture” at its annual Accelerate user conference that begins Wednesday.

Data-centric architecture is Pure’s description for its new flash strategy. The strategy revolves around the concept that the storage array is becoming a commodity item, an afterthought for IT. Enterprise data centers instead want fast flash to deliver data as a service to any type of application.

Among the expected product highlights is a major upgrade to the flagship Pure Storage FlashArray block and file system, featuring a handful of highly dense models that extend nonvolatile memory express (NVMe) rack-scale flash across the product line.

This will be the first Pure Accelerate under new CEO Charles Giancarlo, who replaced Scott Dietzen last April. Dietzen remains as Pure’s charman.

Shared accelerated storage: Jargon or meaningful distinction?

Pure Storage has had an eventful year so far. Pure became a public company in 2015, and this year capped off a pair of key milestones: $1 billion in sales and achieving non-GAAP profit. Pure Storage launched in 2009 as one of the first vendors to sell only all-flash arrays.

Pure now wants to shift the focus away from hardware specs to software-defined storage features that exploit advances in flash technology. With the launch of Pure AIRI this year, the vendor moved into artificial intelligence.

Pure wants to lump its all-flash arrays under a recently developed hardware category known as shared accelerated storage.  The term was coined by IT analyst firm Gartner to describe hardware gears equipped with NVMe over Fabrics capabilities.

“Our vision for data-centric architecture is that IT organizations need to think less about managing storage and more about being storage service providers to the rest of the organization” said Matt Kixmoeller, Pure’s vice president of strategy.  “That’s a bit of a different mindset than just buying and running storage arrays.”

At Pure Accelerate in 2017, the vendor previewed a FlashStack converged infrastructure product based on Cisco servers and networking. The first iteration of that product will be made generally available this week.

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