This content is part of the Awards: Best data storage products 2018: Products of the Year

Pure Storage AIRI

AIRI is a preconfigured hardware stack for data-intensive analytics. It combines Pure Storage's all-flash FlashBlade and Nvidia Tesla-based DGX supercomputers.

Silver winner in Storage magazine and SearchStorage's 2018 Products of the Year storage arrays category.

Pure Storage AIRI is an AI-ready infrastructure that combines Pure Storage FlashBlade NAS and Nvidia DGX-1 supercomputers.

Sold as an integrated product, AIRI includes a 15-blade FlashBlade array that ingests data from four DGX-1 devices. The blades are available in 8 TB, 17 TB and 52 TB capacities. A pair of 100 gigabit Ethernet remote direct memory access switches (by Arista Networks or Cisco) connects FlashBlade and DGX-1 appliances.

Nvidia V100 Tesla GPUs are rated to deliver four petaflops of performance. AIRI is billed as a plug-and-play infrastructure that can scale out to multiple racks while conserving data center real estate.

Pure Storage claims a half rack of AIRI compute and storage equals the performance of about 50 standard data center racks. 

Seven of our 12 judges awarded AIRI marks of 9 or higher for performance. Two other judges gave performance scores of 7 (out of 10).

Pure Storage's pricing is set by channel partners, making it difficult to weigh AIRI acquisition costs against its overall value. In the estimate of one judge, Pure Storage AIRI storage is "very specific, very performant storage for the [high-performance computing] market [and] ... enables very high performance."

Another analyst awarded a maximum score of 10 for performance, claiming that AIRI "has potential to bring AI mainstream," but noted, "no pricing [is] provided" by Pure.

One panelist echoed the claim, calling Pure Storage "a leading tech provider, with innovative use of flash [for] AI," but lamenting that potential buyers don't get upfront clarity on pricing.

Preconfigured software includes Nvidia's GPU Cloud deep learning stack and the Pure Storage AIRI Scaling Toolkit. Pure said the AIRI stack enables users to launch multiple AI trainings with a few commands.

For organizations just starting to build an AI practice, Pure Storage offers the AIRI Mini, combining FlashBlade and two Nvidia DGX-1 devices.

Pure Storage all flash array
Pure Storage AIRI is an all-flash array for AI-intensive workloads. AIRI packages Pure Storage FlashBlade block storage with Nvidia DGX-1 supercomputers.

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