Pure Storage adds Microsoft, Citrix to FlashStack CI reference architectures

New solutions for Microsoft SQL Server and Citrix XenDesktop, and a new FlashStack CI support program for resellers who don’t provide Level 1 and 2 support, will expand FlashStack’s partner reach. Pure is also looking to reach deeper into Canada, with two western road shows following up today’s announcement.

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Michael Sotnick, Pure Storage’s VP of Global Channels and Alliances

Mountain View CA-based all-flash vendor Pure Storage has announced the expansion of the FlashStack CI all-flash reference architecture portfolio it originally unveiled last December, with several Cisco and VMware solutions. The new solutions combine Pure Storage FlashArray 400 Series arrays with Microsoft SQL Server and Citrix XenDesktop.

“These represent a fundamental shift in the data centre,” said Michael Sotnick, Pure Storage’s VP of Global Channels and Alliances. “All workloads used to be candidates for converged infrastructure. In the modern data centre, however, there is very much a workload-centric view, and that is where we unlock meaningful value, in key workloads like VDI, virtualized servers, and databases.”

FlashStack CI addresses this with all-flash, pre-validated turnkey converged infrastructure solutions to support these key workloads. The reference architectures simplify and streamline the selection, planning, design, implementation and support of complete data center infrastructure stacks.

“Their differentiation is really this ability to support variable workloads and multiple workloads,” Sotnick said. “Customers and partners can rely on their ability to add multiple workloads.”

The architectures are also highly differentiated.

“They recognize that cooking for a family of five is different than cooking for a party of 50.” Sotnick added. “We have configurations that will scale up to 7500 VMs in a single rack.”

Sotnick indicated that the original Cisco and VMware solutions have done well in the market since they were introduced.

“We are pleased with the results,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it has wildly exceeded our expectations but it has exceeded them, because of the workload-focused sales motion that our partners have embraced.” For instance, Minnesota-based DataLink, who was the first FlashStack Authorized Support Partner in the U.S, announced in May that they had won a five million dollar contract with a CiSCO FlashStack CI solution. It included Pure Storage FlashArray 400 Series storage arrays, Cisco UCS Blade Servers and Cisco Nexus switches, as well as project management, design, deployment and single-call support from Datalink’s OneCall Support Services.

When the solutions were originally introduced in December, Pure introduced a FlashStack authorized support program which was designed for deeply-focused partners like DataLink. That program remains. However, with the new offerings, Pure is also introducing an evolution of the program, in order to expand its reach.

“The original program was designed for partner companies that have Level One and Level Two support for Tier One vendors like Cisco, where they had already made that investment in training, accreditation and knowhow,” Sotnick said. “What we are adding now is a FlashStack accredited reseller program for those partners who haven’t made that support investment, and who don’t want to, but who want to demonstrate a higher level of competency.”

This new program offers self-directed technical and sales accreditation. Its intent is to support expansion to a wider partner group, with a low-touch model increasing purchasing options, component choice and design guidance. Resellers accredited through the program will be better enabled to provide direct support and FlashStack services to customers, which should increase their service-based opportunities like design, installation, delivery, integration and testing.

Sotnick indicated that new future configurations are on the roadmap.

“You can expect to see important vendor solutions like SAP HANA, on which we have been certified, come to FlashStack,” he said. “Workload-focused computing has a lot of longevity and aligns well to our approach and our business model.”

Pure is interested in expanding its partner and customer presence in Canada, and to this end is doing a road show in western Canada in support of today’s global launch event later this week. They are in Vancouver this Wednesday, June 24, and will be following that up with another event in Calgary.

“We definitely have an amplified focus on the Canadian market,” Sotnick said.