Pure Storage, Vertica partner on first database solution to separate compute and storage architecture on-prem

In what can best be described as an example of customer-led innovation, where an important customer wanted a joint solution to suit their needs, Vertica and Pure Storage have developed a solution that will facilitate a hybrid database strategy.

Pure Storage’s Amy Fowler announcing the new collaboration with Vertica onstage

AUSTIN – Micro Focus, which now owns the Vertica database platform, has announced an industry-first collaboration with Pure Storage, with the general availability of Vertica in Eon Mode for Pure Storage. The partnership, which was driven by a joint customer, was announced Tuesday at the Pure Accelerate user conference here.

“We are excited to announce Vertica’s Eon mode now exclusively supports Pure Storage’s FlashBlade,” said Amy Fowler, Vice President, Strategy and Solutions, FlashBlade Business Unit at Pure Storage, during the kickoff keynote, which previewed the formal announcement by about six hours.

Vertica makes a columnar-focused analytics database that has an advantage over relational databases in producing faster query performance. The startup was acquired by 2011 by then-HP, and was part of the transaction in 2017 which saw HPE software assets transferred to Micro Focus. Throughout the HP-Micro Focus period, Vertica has had consistency of management, through Colin Mahony, who is now Senior Vice President and General Manager of Vertica at Micro Focus.

“I think of Vertica as an advanced analytics machine learning platform based on columnar architecture that is independent of the underling infrastructure.” said  Joy King, VP, Vertica Product Management, Product Marketing & Field Engagement at Micro Focus. “It is all about performance at scale. From the very beginning Vertica was based on speed, including tightly coupled storage. However, in 2018 Vertica introduced Eon mode. It was the same Vertica, and sold with the same license – but it separated compute from storage.”

King emphasized that this is the first collaboration of its type specifically for on-prem environments. Separating compute from storage helps manage more dynamic workloads and enables workload isolation for individual teams and projects. But, applying this to databases has been focused on the cloud up to now.

“When we put together the press release on this, legal asked questions about the claim to be the first, but it really is the first and only solution like this for on-prem,” she said. “Others separate compute and storage in the public clouds only. Cloud-optimized storage and compute architecture has changed the way we manage data, and these innovations have changed a lot of things for all of us in separating compute and storage. But innovation should never limit freedom. What we do here in partnership with Pure is bring cloud architecture down to earth.”

That, King stressed, makes customers to execute a true hybrid strategy, not just one limited to the cloud.

“This collaboration was facilitated by the S3 object storage of Pure Storage FlashBlade,” she said. “It gives customers all the advantages of hybrid in the decision of where they want to go – on prem, in the cloud, or both.”

The collaboration was also facilitated – compelled might be a better world – by the strong request of a mutual customer of Vertica and Pure, AT&T. It also illustrated the kind of use case that Vertica and Pure think will be fairly common for this joint solution, where customers want an on-prem capability to accommodate something they do not want in the cloud.

“AT&T uses the AWS cloud, but they did not want their analytics to be in the cloud,” King said. “They wanted it to be on-prem. Vertica was what they wanted for this. They were already using Pure Storage. So they wanted this collaboration. When a big customer like AT&T wants something to work, we made it work. It was a rough 8-10 weeks, but we delivered it. So this is really an example of a customer-led innovation.”