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Pure aims at unstructured data with Flashblade flash system

Pure Storage charts new waters with all-flash storage array that aims at unstructured and big data analytics workloads with a scale-out modular architecture

Pure storage has added the Flashblade, a scale-out big data-targeted file and object-access all-flash array to its portfolio, plus an entry-level addition to its //m series all-flash arrays, the //m10.

The products aim to fill what Pure Storage marketing vice-president Matt Kixmoeller called “an expanding addressable market for flash”.

While the company’s core //m arrays are targeted at structured data, Kixmoeller said the Flashblade aims at “a wide range of other types of data, such as file, object and container” and data generated by analytics, and the internet of things. “It’s a big opportunity for flash to revolutionise that part of the market,” he said.

The Flashblade system is designed to accommodate “up to 100s” of 8TB or 52TB blades, but initially will be limited to 30 blades in two 4U chassis.

Pure’s proprietary Flashblade blades comprise flash storage, NVRAM memory and Intel Xeon CPUs with an architecture designed to cope with potentially large amounts of metadata plus 40GbE connectivity.

Flashblade blades are then knitted together as a scale-out system with Pure’s new Elasticity controller operating system (OS). This provides NFS, CIFS, object storage and Hadoop (HDFS) access across the hardware, which can be added to non-disruptively.

Kixmoeller said: “We have had a really big focus to develop hardware and software to be truly scale-out.”

Flashblade will be generally available in the second half of 2016, but is available now on beta programmes.

Read more on all-flash storage

To date, most all-flash arrays have addressed the block access market and are aimed at high-performance transactional processing and performance-intensive virtual machine farms. Pure’s Flashblade, in targeting unstructured, file-access workloads, marks a new direction in flash storage.

The //m10 is an entry-level all-flash array aimed at SMEs. It uses MLC and 3D TLC flash drives and comes in two base capacities of 5TB or 10TB raw, which provides 15TB and 30TB, respectively, with data reduction applied. Latency is quoted at less than 1 millisecond and 100,000 32k IOPS.

The //m10 is aimed at SMEs, can be upgrades to any of the other //m products and will sell for less than $50,000.

Pure Storage moved from startup to established business with its initial public offering in October 2015. In June 2015, the company launched a revamp of its FlashArray platform based on new hardware, with three new models under the FlashArray//m brand. The //m20 (5TB to 40TB raw), //m50 (30TB to 88TB raw) and //m70 (44TB to 136TB) models scale to in excess of 120TB, 250TB and 400TB, respectively, after data optimisation.

Performance scales from 150,000 IOPS at the low end with the //m20 and up to 300,000 IOPS for the //m70, all with less than 1ms latency. ...........................................................................

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