Pure Storage expands Cloud Data Services portfolio with Cloud Block Store for AWS

Pure also extends their CloudSnap cloud backup technology, introduced a year ago for the AWS platform, to Azure, and rebrands ES2 to Pure as-a-Service to reflect the move to offering all their products on an OPEX model.

Matt Kixmoeller, Pure’s VP of Strategy

AUSTIN — Today, at the Pure Accelerate event here, Pure Storage made multiple announcements around their Cloud Data Services portfolio. They announced a new solution, Cloud Block Store [CBS] for AWS, and an extension of the CloudSnap solution, which was introduced last November for AWS, to the Azure platform. They also announced that their ES2 service has been rebranded to Pure-as-a-Service, to emphasize the centrality of the Opex service model to Pure’s business today.

The cloud is core to the messaging at Accelerate this year.

“There has been a graduation for Pure between our first decade and our next decade,” said Matt Kixmoeller, Pure’s VP of Strategy. “In our first decade, we defined what a storage array should be. But now customers aren’t running one or two arrays, but 50-100.”

Kixmoeller emphasized that to free customers from managing these larger volumes of arrays manually, Pure is increasingly focused on providing storage as-a-service.

“We are transitioning to delivering everything as a service,” he said. “Pure’s goal is to deliver a modern data experience – fast shared data to all consumers where they do not have to think about the underlying infrastructure.”

Central to this strategy is Pure Storage Cloud Data Services, which they announced last November, and which built out a unified hybrid architecture capability that extends into the public cloud. At that point the CloudSnap data protection service was generally available, on the AWS platform. Cloud Block Store for AWS was announced then as being in limited public beta.

“We are now bringing Cloud Block Store for AWS generally to market,” Kixmoeller said.

“Cloud strategy today means hybrid strategy, but the challenge has been that on-prem isn’t very cloudy, and the cloud doesn’t have an on-prem experience,” he added. “Our strategy last year when we introduced Cloud Data Services was to take on-prem Pure and bring it to run on the major public cloud providers – not put arrays in colos connected to the cloud like our competitors. That’s not real cloud, because of the added latency and added cost for egress fees.”

Kixmoeller stressed that Cloud Block Store for AWS is a very deep integration of Pure’s Purity operating environment with the AWS infrastructure to provide enterprise grade block storage in the AWS cloud, at an efficiency that AWS native block storage can’t deliver.

“We have worked over the last two years to fundamentally rewrite enormous portions of our software to match with AWS infrastructure,” he said. “Our software builds flash reliability into the AWS environment, which isn’t designed for 6 9s. AWS Block Storage also has inefficient snapshots. It’s not something you would do DevOps on.”

Kixmoeller also pointed out that Pure can deploy across AWS availability zones, and that the same APIs that work on-prem will work in the cloud, with the same dedupe technology.

Kixmoeller noted that the first engine Pure built for this was built on AWS EC2 and EBS.

“We found that EBS didn’t have reliability that Tier One storage needs, so we rearchitected the back end to run on AWS S3 instead, and we now use EBS as a cache,” he said.

Pure thinks that Cloud Block Store for AWS will unlock new use cases including migration, disaster prevention which leverages the cloud and DevOps. Kixmoeller noted that these uses cases can go in both directions.

“With DevOps, some customers do it on-prem but deploy it in the cloud, and some do the reverse,” he said. “These pipes go in both directions and our goal was to enable that.”

This service will come to market as a subscription available through Pure’s partners or through the AWS Marketplace. Kixmoeller doesn’t see the AWS option as problematic for the channel.

“We have been very thoughtful about how everything will works seamlessly through the channel,” he said. “We see the AWS option as a ‘try and buy’ which will have shorter deployments. It will essentially become a lead-gen tool for the channel. Customers can try it out through the AWS Marketplace, but when they want a larger deployment, and want to negotiate a discount, there is an incentive to work with us and our channel.”

The plan is to add Cloud Block Store to the other public clouds as well.

“We will of course proliferate to other clouds, but deep integration isn’t easy,” he said. “Once we have a solid first offering, we can then proliferate to other clouds.”

Purity CloudSnap, which was introduced for AWS in November, has now reached that second stage, with Pure announcing its availability on the Microsoft Azure cloud.

“With the CloudSnap data service now going to its second cloud, Azure, it becomes a multi-cloud solution where you can choose Azure or AWS,” Kixmoeller said.

Finally the overarching Pure cloud model has been rebranded, with ES2 becoming Pure-as-a-Service.

“We are reinventing the customer experience around the Pure cloud model,” Kixmoeller said. “We have expanded Pure-as-a-Service to cover all the products Pure offers. That drove the renaming of the product line – to make it clear we offer everything as Opex. With Pure-as-a-Service, it gives customers a concrete way to buy and have a path to the cloud, not a path to nowhere.”