Pure Storage updates Pure-as-a-Service with added price transparency, lower entry points

Pure also introduces a subscription version of the FlashStack reference architecture, built on its long-standing partnership with Cisco.

Prakash Darji, General Manager and VP of the Digital Technology Services Group, Pure Storage

Pure Storage has announced a significant expansion of their Pure as-a-Service consumption-based offerings. They have unveiled a new Service Catalog which provides public cloud levels of price transparency. They have introduced new Block service tiers, including one that cuts the entry point by a third. And they have expanded their FlashStack partnership with Cisco to make it available in multiple consumption-based versions.

“Pure-as-a-Service 2.0 is a step in a longer term journey for us,” said Prakash Darji, General Manager and VP of the Digital Technology Services Group at Pure. “We have this vision of the future where storage needs to operate as if it’s a SaaS-managed solution, removing the labour of owning and operating storage.”

Darji emphatically stated that this is what customers want. That’s why there is a general trend among all the big storage OEMs towards consumption-based offerings. Darji emphasized, however, that what Pure is offering now is different from other vendors, as well as different from what Pure itself used to sell in this space.

“If you rewind to our SaaS approach of two years ago, it was a procurement offering – CAPEX vs OPEX,” he said. “But it was short of taking on SLAs to run and operate the environment. We are automating software. We find the competitive landscape is still trying to figure out the financial aspect – CAPEX vs OPEX. But that’s not a cloud management experience. Some competitor consumption offerings are dressed-up outsourcing models from the 1980s.”

Pure is stressing that Pure-as-a-Service 2.0 – [which was Pure ES2 [Enterprise Storage Service until a 2019 rebranding] isn’t about OPEX benefits, but about providing public cloud-like experience, transparency and choice.

“Pure-as-a-Service 2.0 isn’t REALLY a 2.0 because the product has been evolving,” said Josh Petty, Director of Product Marketing and Solutions, Pure as-a-Service. “It’s a stake in the ground around where we came from, and where we go next. It’s about giving customers the same operational experience they had with the public cloud. CAPEX vs OPEX used to be the hot button, but it’s now operationalizing and streamlining spend and delivering a more cloudy type of experience – a hyperscaler cloud experience. We at Pure were uniquely positioned to do this because of our past. We have had a true subscription model with Evergreen, which allowed us to do upgrades without disrupting the app environment. It provides a level of elasticity, when combined with Pure1, which predicts when maintenance is needed, around cloud management, with full API-based orchestration. These things laid the groundwork for delivering Pure as-a -Service as a utility. It’s not just creative financing wrapped around products.”

The new enhancements begin with a lot more choice in Block Service Tiers, to let customers pick the option that best fits their needs.

“At the start of the pandemic, we saw more people were flirting with consumption models, because of shrinking capital budgets, in order to keep the lights on,” Petty said. “We wanted to provide multiple services and multiple tiers, so they could select the appropriate one for their requirements , and also lower the entry point.”

A new Block Capacity Service Tier lowers the entry point, and thus the price, for this part of the market.

Josh Petty, Director of Product Marketing and Solutions, Pure as-a-Service

“Block storage traditionally involves very large requirements, with traditionally a 300 TB entry point,” Petty indicated. “We have lowered it to 200 TB. We feel this is a better way to lower entry points than having to sign a 3-5 year contract with 70% up front like some of the competition, which isn’t much better than a lease.”

Another new block offering is the Block UItra Service Tier, designed for in-memory databases.

“We have always offered Block storage for these use cases if their workloads mapped to performance,” Petty said. “We would provide a term sheet around SAP HANA. This takes what we did in a manual process and productized it.”

Other new Block Tier options are a Block Premium Tier for specialized tier 1 workloads, like containers and test/dev applications, and a Block Performance tier to accelerate hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Improvements have also been made to Pure1 Subscription Management to reflect the new tiers.

“We have always had workload modelling capability, but now we can model workloads in terms of IOPS raw performance and physical array, and with what tier is appropriate for the workload,” Petty stated. “That gets us a lot closer to that cloud environment.”

Pure is also announcing that its joint FlashStack offering with Cisco will now be available as a Full Stack as-a-Service

“Full Stack as a Service is for partners who want to deliver a flexible consumption model where we meet Cisco in the channel,” Petty indicated. “We maintain responsibility for keeping the lights on. They handle financials and payment for the customer. With Full Stack as a Service they can do the same thing for FlashStack as consumption – with metring coming from two sources – and hopefully one source in the future.”

Pure’s new Service Catalog provides full cost transparency by breaking pricing down into tiers, allowing customers to purchase the tier of storage needed based on the workload.

“No other vendor has done this yet outside of cloud workloads,” Petty said. “It provides hyperscaler simplicity. You visit the site, get the MSRP price, and figure out worst case scenarios. Customers are savvier about these as a service model today. We wanted to take away the asterisk and provide full transparency.”

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