Pure CEO Giancarlo lays out vision to virtualize data for modern data experience

The virtualization of data remains the last frontier in the data centre, and that’s what Pure Storage CEO says is the company’s objective going forward.

Pure Storage CEO Charlie Giancarlo, and his onstage graphic of the company’s journey to the modern data experience

AUSTIN – Today, Pure Storage kicked off the main part of its Accelerate event here – the first time the company has left the friendly confines of San Francisco to enable easier access by customers in the east to their largest annual event. The opening keynote got under way with CEO Charlie Giancarlo giving a perspective to customers on where Pure has come from, where they are today, and where they are going tomorrow.

“We are celebrating our tenth birthday – on October 1 – and what a difference a decade makes,” Giancarlo told his audience. “Pure has delivered so many things, including the first and arguably the most successful flash array ever. But we have other innovations we think are even better: non-disruptive upgrades, full cloud management, all available on a single screen, diagnosing problems with AI proactively, cloud data protection, always-on QOS and always-on encryption.”

Until recently, networking was commonly referred to as the last part of the data centre to be virtualized. Now that this is well underway, Giancarlo pointed out that a major component of the data centre still remains unvirtualized – the data.

“Data storage still to this day is tied to the application stack or to the rack,” Giancarlo emphasized. “Data is not flexible. It has not been virtualized.

“We have learned that customers want these different environments to be flexible, to be a pool of resources that can be used in any location,” Giancarlo continued. We think the time is right to virtualize the data environment, managed by policy and managed by AI-based management. We need to drive to a modern data experience.”

Giancarlo said that Pure’s journey to this next innovation is based on three simple principles – being simple,  seamless and sustainable.

“Simple means API-defined,” he stated. “It means you need to be able to consume it as a service – not pay for the maximum amount you might use and then use a fraction of that. It needs to be automated, self-managed if possible and with AI-driven automation if its not. It also needs to be relatively effortless from the standpoint of the operations team as well as the customers you support.”

Seamless, Giancarlo said, means a service provides what is demanded of it. It also means multi-protocol, multiple storage classes (what he said used to be called multi-tier), multi-cloud and API-defined. It all results in pools of resources being delivered on demand.

Sustainable means on demand consumption and non-disruptive upgrades.

“It also means continuously improving, providing product that is brand new in terms of age and abilities, using less power and space,” Giancarlo said.

Giancarlo then addressed the key question – where Pure is on this journey to the modern data experience. He defined it as three stages and said the first has already been accomplished.

“We have already delivered on accelerating and simplifying Tier 1 workloads,” he said.

Pure is in the second stage now, Giancarlo indicated. It consists of enabling the hybrid cloud and enabling multiple storage classes to be consumed as a service.  He also emphasized that key announcements at Accelerate are driving this stage forward.

“We are now enabling the hybrid cloud, by delivering most of what we have as a service,” he stated.

The final stage Giancarlo said would not take Pure’s second decade to reach, and that the company expects to get there in the next few years.

“It’s about delivering to all apps, all protocols, all clouds, as a service,” he said. “That’s the modern data experience. In our second decade, we will transform traditional storage into a modern day experience. And this is all through Evergreen – all upgradable – so none of it becomes obsolete.”