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Pure adds block, Azure and convergence to as-a-service offerings

Pure customers can get its storage on-premise, in colocation or the cloud, and now it has added FlashArray C// block capacity and Flash Stack converged infrastructure to the catalogue

Pure Storage has added an extra tier of block flash storage to its as-a-service products, added Microsoft Azure to Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a location for its cloud block storage, and will now offer the Cisco-partnered converged infrastructure product FlashStack as a consumable operational expenditure (opex) offering.

The moves form part of what Pure calls its As-a-Service 2.0 offering. The flash storage pioneer offers just about its entire product range on an as-a-service basis, although it won’t disclose what proportion the opex model comprises in relation to purchased products.

Pure as-a-Service makes all the company’s products available by the tier of storage specified by the customer. These range from the extremely high-performance Block Ultra, which is targeted at SAP Hana and demanding database workloads, through Block Premium and Performance which aim at more mainstream use cases, to UFFO (Unified File and Object) Ultra and Premium. These are aimed at artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), analytics, high-performance computing (HPC), and backup and restore applications.

To the above catalogue Pure has now added a Block Capacity tier based on its FlashArrayC// all-flash storage products. The company upgraded FlashArrayC// to make use of higher-capacity quad-level cell (QLC) flash drives in September.

In terms of use cases, it aims FlashArray//C at test and development, backup, virtual machines (VMs), email and archives. Pure puts the cost per raw gigabyte at less than $0.50.

The new FlashArray//C uses bigger-capacity NVMe QLC drives than the previous version at 24.7TB, which provides up to 1.8PB raw in 9U. That goes up to the region of 5PB (petabytes) with data reduction.

All of the above options are available on an as-a-service basis. Pure’s block storage products can be consumed on-premise, in colocation or in the cloud. Pure has added – as a beta – the ability to use Microsoft Azure as well as the existing AWS capability.

Pure Storage’s chief technology officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Patrick Smith, said Azure cloud block capacity would be a beta offering for now, with general availability coming “shortly”.

UFFO as-a-service offerings can only be consumed on-premise. Pure has decided not to compete with existing and well-established object (and file) services in the cloud such as that based on Amazon’s S3. That’s because Pure doesn’t think it can differentiate itself sufficiently in these areas against the native cloud capability.

But with block, Pure offers almost seamless interoperability between on-premise infrastructure and its instances in the cloud, with the ability to manage advanced storage functionality such as replication, snapshots, data reduction and thin provisioning.

“The flexible consumption model fits with what everyone seems to be talking about this year, with the change in the economic landscape where opex and pay-as-you-go models fit with what customers and organisations want,” said Smith.

Pure has no immediate plans to extend its opex consumption models to Google Cloud Platform, but Smith said the company was “constantly looking at which cloud providers to support”.

Finally, Pure announced it was making its FlashStack converged offerings – which marry Pure storage with Cisco compute and networking – available as a service. FlashStack is a flexible converged infrastructure solution that supports critical enterprise applications and provides a platform for cloud-based management.

Read more about storage as a service

  • Cloud is mainstream but the datacentre’s here to stay, which has resulted in a trend towards as-a-service in the datacentre where big storage array makers and the cloud giants meet.
  • What you need to know about storage-as-a-service options to make them work for your organisation – service levels, data protection and upgrade schedules can be the differentiators.

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