Pure Storage unveils first Cloud Data Services, which will run in AWS Cloud

The new services are designed to have mission-critical capability, and to give Pure Storage a unified hybrid architecture capability that counters competitor cloud-centric strategies. While these are optimized for AWS, services for the Azure cloud are planned for the future.

Pure Storage has complemented their strong private cloud capabilities with Pure Storage Cloud Data Services, which build out a unified hybrid architecture capability that extend into the public cloud. They are designed to run natively on the Amazon Web Services [AWS] cloud. There are three services to start. The CloudSnap for AWS data protection service is available now. The other two – Cloud Block Store for AWS, and StorReduce deduplication technology – are in limited public beta today.

“We are really building out our cloud data services which will enable customers to easily bridge the gap between on-prem and the public cloud,” said Chadd Kinney, Pure’s VP of Product and Solutions. “Today, we provide cloud data infrastructure and management. Cloud services are a new addition.”

Kinney said that these services are necessary because customers want traditionally on-prem focused vendors to offer cloud capabilities as well, and so on-prem has evolved to hybrid cloud strategies.

“The issue though is that while the enterprise increasingly wants multiple clouds, the enterprise is still not very cloudy and the cloud is not very enterprisey,” Kinney said. “We think that the data tier makes or breaks hybrid. The hybrid cloud requires a data-centric architecture. To get that, you need application mobility, with application compatibility, migration ability and innovation capability with the public cloud.”

The new Cloud Services are designed to extend Pure’s technology into an architecture that unifies application deployments on-premises and in the AWS public cloud, and give them a strong counter against a competitor like NetApp which has made its cloud integrations and strategy a fundamental part of their value proposition.

“A key differentiator of this platform is that we truly optimized it for AWS to start with,” Kinney stated. “We spent a lot of development time on this. Most cloud environments are TestDev or low-tier. We worked extensively with AWS to ensure that we would be able to support mission-critical applications with these services. We are truly focused on mission-critical applications.”

Eventually, the plan is to add support for Azure as well.

“We will provide similar optimizations for Azure in the future,” Kinney indicated.

The only service generally available out of the gate is CloudSnap for AWS. It provides cloud-based data protection, built into the Pure FlashArray, which enables FlashArray snapshots to be easily sent to AWS S3 storage.

StorReduce  provides cloud-native deduplication technology for fast, simple, cost-effective cloud backup to AWS S3 storage, in conjunction with on-premises flash for fast recovery. It is now entering limited public beta, with general availability is planned for the first half of 2019.

Cloud Block Store for AWS is high-grade block storage that runs natively in AWS.

“We have brought in some great workflows with VMware that enable this to be deployed in four minutes, and you will be able to do the exact same thing in the cloud as you can do on-prem,” Kinney said.

“The data protection of the past has been disk to disk to tape,” he added. “We think that the data protection of tomorrow will be flash to flash to cloud, with super-fast recovery and replication out to the public cloud. The key is getting to cost parity between these two approaches.”

More services are highly likely down the line.

“Our cloud capabilities will continue to evolve, and we will announce new services ahead of their general availability to let customers test them out,” Kinney indicated.

Managed service providers have never been a part of Pure Storage’s model, with its on-prem deployments. They only announced their first MSP partner in the U.S. this year, and that was a Veeam-focused partner and around a Veeam collaboration with Pure. That is likely to change with these services.

“The new services will present some interesting use cases for service providers and MSPs, and represent a big opportunity for them to differentiate their solutions,” Kinney said.

Finally, Pure Storage restructured their channel program this year, creating an original two-tier model, with an invite-only second tier where the invite requires being on the cutting edge with Pure, as well as making a deep commitment to them. Kinney said that the new services will not impact qualification for this tier, and no such changes are planned.