Pure Storage looks to make separate storage tiers and hybrid arrays obsolete with all-QLC FlashArray//C

Pure introduces the first capacity-optimized all-QLC all-Flash storage array, and dense 24.7TB and 49TB QLC DirectFlash modules.

Pure FlashModule

Last September, at the Pure Accelerate event in Austin, Pure Storage unveiled their FlashArray//C, a new offering aimed at the lower end of the market which featured QLC media, and which the company described as Tier 2 storage. Today, at their earnings call, they are announcing enhancements to the FlashArray//C which they say fundamentally transform the product, blurring the line between Tier 1 and Tier 2 storage, with what they are calling the industry’s first enterprise-grade all-QLC array.

“FlashArray//C  was introduced about a year ago,” said Scott Baker VP Product Marketing, FlashArray. “It was designed to be ready to take on QLC media when it was available. At that time, QLC drives weren’t available the way they are now. This release is our delivery on a promise – releasing the new drives themselves – and also coming in with an enterprise grade design and implementation, using the densest NAND possible with 24.7 and 49 TB drives.”

Baker emphasized that these new DirectFlash modules can be used to perform tasks traditionally done by spinning disks or hybrid flash solutions because they can deliver a new low price point and TCO.

“We have new price economics with the way we produce this QLC, because we have full adaptive I/O control over the chips,” he said. This adaptive QoS at the flash die level provides high performance access for latency consistency and performance.

“With this cell level control of the NAND chips, when we do a write we have access to every cell within the chips,” Baker explained. “We know exactly where we place the data and can do so efficiently. Off the shelf QLC drives used by competitors have 3-4 different layers, so they have those intermediary layers that we don’t suffer from. Without them, we can ensure the most appropriate placement to support performance that is required, and also extend the durability of the drives.”

Baker also stressed that this overcomes the issues with endurance which has been the problem with QLC flash in the past.

“We don’t suffer from durability issues of mean time to failure, because the chips are so compressed,” he said. “Our competitors have lower density per device, meaning higher costs per TB, and also low and inconsistent performance. “We don’t need storage class memory. This is All-QLC – as opposed to QLC-Optimized.

“This continues to demonstrate our leading with innovation in terms of delivering these QLC capabilities,” Baker added. “We didn’t just use off the shelf QLC. We really made it enterprise class.”

Full drive availability is also part of this announcement.  The modular design is the same as when the product was introduced. The change is the drive types that are now available.

The overall messaging around the announcement emphasizes that the lower price point and the upgraded FlashArray//C create new synergies that can redefine the data centre.

“It’s about trying to create the all-NVME data centre,” Baker said.  “FlashArray//X and FlashArray//C now demonstrate the blending of Tier 1 and Tier 2 storage. FlashArray//X is still high performance, while FlashArray//C is transactional, but they fully complement each other. Someone on our team suggested ‘no more tiers’ should be the slogan when it came to this launch. Both of these platforms are built on the same operating environment with the dame data services, and one IT generalist can manage all of these boxes.”

“This introduction of a new cost economic tier for us will let us compete at the hybrid array level but cost less,” Baker concluded. “After the QLC release is in the market, the only hybrid you should own is the car you drive to work.”

All-QLC FlashArray//C is available now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.