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Pure Storage adds entry-level and high-end FA 400 flash arrays

Antony Adshead

All-flash array maker Pure Storage has expanded its product line from one array to three, adding the entry-level FA-405 and high-end FA-450 all-flash arrays to its existing FA-420 hardware.

All Pure’s arrays also benefit from an upgrade to controller hardware with replication included in a new iteration of the Purity operating system (OS), version 4.0.

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Pure Storage is one of a number of flash array startups in a hot market driven by the need for low-latency storage to satisfy server and desktop virtualisation, as well as high performance transactional processing.

The FA-400 series use inline deduplication to increase the effective capacity of its flash arrays, for example, claiming customers can get up to 125TB of usable capacity from the FA-420’s raw 23TB.

The FA-405 is aimed at smaller businesses and those that want an all-flash box for limited projects such as VDI pilots. It has a raw capacity of 11TB, which Pure says provide useable capacity of around 40TB.                                

The FA-450 has 70TB of raw capacity and up to 250TB of useable. The FA 450 uses Intel Ivy bridge processors and 1024GB of DRAM (compared to 512GB in the FA 420). The FA 450 also offers 16Gbps of Fibre Channel connectivity.

Customers can scale the devices, effectively turning an FA-405 into an FA-420 and FA-450.

Pure Storage uses a 32K block size benchmark for IOPS (input output operations per second), providing a claimed 100,000 of 32K IOPS in the FA 405, 150,000 IOPS in the FA 420 and 200,000 IOPS in the FA 450.

The key addition to the Purity operating system is FlashRecover replication and snapshots, which the company says is “data reduction-aware”. This feature comes without added licence charges.

Meanwhile, FlashRecover Protection Policies allow for global management of replication and snapshot services in a single policy orchestration layer.

Pure Storage uses multi-level cell (MLC) flash in its arrays from Samsung Electronics, one of the startup's investors.

Pure has attracted large amounts of venture capital funding and is surrounded by rumours that it will float on the stock market, although CEO Scott Dietzen told Computer Weekly in January 2014 that the company intends to remain private and to challenge the storage array market leaders.


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