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Pure Storage Unveils FlashArray//X Enterprise All-NVMe Flash Array System

1PB of effective storage within 3U
This is a Press Release edited by StorageNewsletter.com on 2017.04.19

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Pure Storage, Inc. announced FlashArray//X, the company's first all-NVMe enterprise all-flash array.


Built on FlashArray architecture, FlashArray//X enables global flash management with Purity DirectFlash software and NVMe DirectFlash modules from the company, which eliminate performance bottlenecks associated with legacy technologies. This end-to-end, software-to-raw flash optimization over NVMe improves system performance.


"Cloud-era web scale applications and a massively increased focus on data analytics across nearly every industry demand a new generation of all-flash storage, designed to power tomorrow's innovation," said Matt Kixmoeller, VP, product, Pure. "Today, infrastructure underpins the number one priority we hear from our customers - the need to put their organizational data to work."

Data continues to grow at a breakneck pace. According to industry experts, more than 90% of all data ever created was generated in the last few years, and analysts forecast that by 2025 humans will generate 180ZB of data annually. This presents modern organizations with both challenge and opportunity - how to store unprecedented volumes of data, and subsequently, how to gain value from that data to drive informed business decisions. Modern organizations, such as MacStadium, Inc., require fast, agile, always-on infrastructure to enable next-generation innovation.

MacStadium is the world's largest hosting provider of dedicated Apple Mac computers, dedicated server rentals and Hosted Mac Private Cloud solutions. Number 44 on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies list, it uses Pure as a platform to power developer workstations for top tier web-scale enterprises that rely on instantaneous performance. This allows MacStadium to meet ever-increasing demand and improve SLAs for current customers.

"Pure Storage provides us with a building block platform for customers that expect best-in-class, always-on service. Fully NVMe and equipped with DirectFlash, FlashArray//X will enable even greater performance density, which allows us to respond to customer demand for additional capacity ad-hoc," said Jason Michaud, president, MacStadium. "And the Evergreen Storage model means best-in-class infrastructure that never slows down, never goes offline and doesn't require a forklift upgrade to leverage the latest advances in hardware and software."


FlashArray//X expands FlashArray family,
and includes three innovations for end-to-end NVMe optimization:

  • DirectFlash software. A software module within the Purity Operating Environment, DirectFlash implements global flash management (garbage collection, allocation, I/O optimization, error correction) at the system level that otherwise typically runs inside each SSD, delivering higher performance and better flash utilization.

DirectFlash module

  • DirectFlash modules. Connected to the FlashArray controllers via NVMe, they work with the DirectFlash Software to enable direct software-to-raw flash communication. It make 100% of the flash within a module accessible to the FlashArray, and will be available in 2.2, 9.1, and 18.3TB raw capacities. The 18.3TB DirectFlash Module will enable FlashArray//X to deliver more than 1PB of effective storage within a 3U base chassis.

  • //X70 controllers. They enable NVMe communication within the FlashArray's existing midplane and chassis, which take advantage of Pure's foresight to pre-wire the FlashArray chassis for both SAS and NVMe when it was first introduced in 2015.

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This end-to-end, software-to-raw flash optimization reduces latency by up to 50%, and increases write bandwidth by up to 2x and performance density by up to 4x. Within the FlashArray family, FlashArray//M delivers general-purpose consolidation at optimal value and FlashArray//X offers maximum consolidation power per rack unit. Customers can now consolidate and run their most demanding workloads on ten DirectFlash Modules.

Click to enlarge

The company combines purpose-built software and hardware with its Evergreen Storage program to create a storage experience for the modern digital enterprise - proven 99.9999% availability and rich data services.

Since its inception, the firm has designed arrays architected specifically for flash. DirectFlash represents the future of storage that allows software to communicate directly with the flash media, without the inefficiencies or limitations of existing SSDs or SAS.

"The increasing importance of cloud-based computing to enterprises of all sizes is driving evolution in enterprise storage as the industry enters the cloud era," said Eric Burgener, research director, storage, IDC. "To handle the performance and scale requirements in this new era, the flash-optimized array architectures of the past will need to give way to flash-driven architectures that retain none of the limitations of the prior SCSI era. The all-flash arrays of the future will be based around much higher performance, much more efficient NVMe technology, will emphasize software-driven designs, and provide the multi-tenant management framework to handle dense workload consolidation at cloud scale."

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Availability:
FlashArray//X with both 2.2 and 9.1TB DirectFlash Modules is available to order, will be shipped as a directed availability release starting in early Q2 FY2018 and is fully supported for production use.

Availability of FlashArray//X, which will support both 18.3TB DirectFlash Modules and upgrades from existing FlashArray//M systems, is expected in early 2H FY2018. Authorized company's channel partners can help customers determine the right configuration for their environment.

"Pure Storage has other storage vendors playing catch-up with the announcement of its latest product, FlashArray//X," said Rob Owen, AVP, solutions architecture, CDI LLC (Computer Design and Integration). "This high-performance addition to an already impressive storage line will pave a path for the next generation of storage platforms, which will undoubtedly demand NVMe technologies. Leading the pack isn't easy, but Pure Storage continues to do so through innovation and a keen ear for customer feedback."

Resources:
Blog for a series of technical and educational deep-dives on FlashArray//X, DirectFlash and how to gain an advantage from data in the cloud era.
About this announcement: virtual event featuring Eric Burgener, research director, IDC, and Jason Michaud, president, MacStadium.

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