back to article Pure Storage attacks EMC heartland

No VC is going to fund a start-up intent on attacking EMC's SAN array heartland with a disk drive array - who would be that foolish - but a flash array which outperforms VMAX/VNX and costs less? Now you're talking - if it's for real. Pure Storage is confident that it has the technology to beat EMC, Dell, HDS, HP, IBM and …


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  1. Nate Amsden

    would of been nice

    To see them go with at least a 3 controller design for N+1 redundancy(or at least give the customer the option given the cost of the controller is likely to pale in comparison to cost of the flash). Wonder how much of a performance hit there is if one of the controllers goes down.

  2. alien anthropologist


    ... Fibre?

    Screw fibre. Make it work via SRP over 40Gb Infiniband and I'll buy.

  3. El Limerino

    That would be Matt Kimoeller, not Max.

    Still a great product :-)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Dual-controller is last year's technology. All the cool kids are shipping N-controller SANs. If Pure wants to compete with VMAX, they're going to need to beef up their controller offering.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fast, reliable, inexpensive -- choose two

    Sounds like Pure Storage is claiming they can deliver all three. No way.

  6. Ausstorageguy

    There are many reasons why companies look further than just performance.

    It's easy to build a killer array that oozes performance, but there are many more reasons why companies chose enterprise arrays.

    It's got a lot of neat trick, but when a company picks a T1 array like USP/VSP or DMX/vMAX is because of the multi engine reliability.

    Much like a plane when you're traveling accross the great blue span that is the pacific, you want to be on a plane with 4 engines (or more, but not likely) like a 747 or A380. even if you could, you'd probably not want to try with a 2 engine plane like the 737 or A320. When 1 engine fails, you get a sudden urge of adrenalin when you realise there is only 1 more engine.

    Thats the same with T1 arrays, you've (typically) got more than 2 engines or atleast have the option.

    Then they also have things like FICON, ESCON, multipoint replication, array virtualisation (USPv VSP), Whole clones, zero size clones.

    When it comes to T2 arrays, you also get things like file and block, tiering, remote replication, 3rd party virtualisation.

    The other reasons, i'm finding it a bit vague from Pure Storage is:

    *Remote Replication - do the have it? is it bandwidth optimised? is it SYNC or ASYNC? Multipoint or 1-to-1?

    *NVRam - is it battery backed? if so, how long does the battery last? does it de-stage if the outage is longer than the battery can handle.

    I'm not poo-hooing pure storage, I think that it sounds great, but only from a straight out speed perspective, it's deffinately a big step up from violin, TMS and alike interms of high-availability, but so far as I can read, it's in no way a competitor to the likes of NetApp, HDS, EMC, HP or even Dell for that matter.

    Sure it's faster, but even EMC have an all Flash array and most of the others could do it without too much re-jigging.

    But speed and capacity are not the sole reasons to but an array.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Indeed. People look towards enterprise arrays for three typical reasons - availability, performance and scalability.

      However it could be only one of those reasons that actually drives them towards an enterprise array. The most important of these three (I find) is availability.

      People can forgive performance issues, they are expected. People can forgive the lack of foresight around scalability, after all we grew faster than expected this year (didn't everyone?). One thing that no one can forgive is when a critical service is no longer there. Those issues go straight to the CEO and even the newspapers.

      See Barclays a few years ago (card services down for hours), see Virgin Blue (planes grounded), see Skype (offline), see RIM (no email). If it aint there jobs and bonuses are going to be lost.

      I have countless examples of companies with only single applications or a handful of LUNs on HDS and EMC tier 1 arrays. They don’t care about most of the features they just want it to be there always. Company size doesn’t matter, the value of the data does - a personal friend works for a private hedge fund with only 55 people and two replicating tier 1 arrays!

      These vendors bring credibility by hosting most of the world’s critical apps……not by having an open alpha and beta (is that even a factor in ’credibility’).

      I’d be much more confident in this product and company if they were more realistic and there was less sensationalism.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Some pretty bold statements for a startup with no redeeming feature that can't be replicated by many of the vendors quite easily.

  8. chris coreline

    The final frontier

    I like that the further into the future we go the more star-trek the technologies are starting to sound. Hell, ill buy some ‘phase change’ if it reduces my total cost of tachyon beam re-modulation.

    Also, good odds that 2012 is the year of another raft of acquisitions for the big storage lads.

  9. Matt Barletta

    Violin and HA

    FYI – the Violin 6000 was launched on September 17th (after the Pure Storage marketing blitz) and is a full HA system with dual active controllers and 4 RAID controllers (of which the system can operate with one.) In all there are at least 2 of everything which is why we are aiming at tier 1 storage with a whole new level of performance density.

    Pure’s should be more careful about their marketing claims.

    Violin Memory

  10. Bill Gates

    >array which outperforms VMAX/VNX and costs less

    Setting the bar kinda low there.

    Nearly every other storage system in the world outperforms EMC and costs about 1000x less.

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