Pure has also expanded the FlashArray portfolio with the //C40 R3, a new entry level offering aimed at that part of the market that typically buys hybrid arrays.
Today Pure Storage has announced updates to their Purity software for FlashBlade and FlashArray with the Purity 3.2 for FlashBlade and the Purity 6.1 for FlashArray releases. Pure has also expanded the FlashArray portfolio at its low end with the //C40 R3, a new entry level offering priced to compete against hybrid arrays.
“With this announcement, we are able to bring to market a joint FlashArray and FlashBlade release that addresses requests from customers and channel partners, and provides us with new opportunities to expand into new TAMs where we have not been able to penetrate previously,” said Scott Baker, VP FlashArray Product Marketing at Pure. “It fits within our hierarchy of needs, where we offer all-flash and cloud for every workload.”
Baker said that Purity 6.1 for FlashArray has three principal highlights.
“We took the ActiveCluster capability for synchronous replication that we released in 2017, which originally supported an IP-based interconnect, and have extended it so that it now supports Fibre Channel,” he said. “It lets us support the EMEA marketplace much deeper. It will also let us penetrate deeper in markets like financial services with high processing capability requirements.”
Purity 6.1 also introduces NVMe over Fibre Channel replication, which the company says is a true first in the industry, even though competitors say they offer it as well.
“FC-NVMe provides a 50% reduction of latency compared to SCSI based Fibre Channel,” Baker stated. “It gives us a strong opportunity to improve the performance of existing SAN workloads, which will open up new use cases around the data analytics space.”
Baker said that this is the first true NVME over Fibre Channel replication in the market.
“Some competitors have brought this to market, but their replication tech works by using SCSI-based Fibre Channel commands to communicate the replication, pushing those commands across the NVMe pipe,” he stressed. “We have architected it to do full NVMe over FC-based replication, which is much faster than what they do.”
The third major software upgrade in FlashArray – which is also found in the new FlashBlade software – is the introduction of SafeMode snapshots, which contain additional user security functionality to protect customers against ransomware and breaches.
“SafeMode gives them a first point of recovery in the event of ransomware or a data breach,” Baker said. “It creates a nice balanced pre- to post-breach response we can take to customers.”
Other elements of the release include a new Pure validated design for VMware Tanzu on FlashArray architecture.
Another major FlashArray announcement is a new entry-level FlashArray//C40, which is priced to compete against hybrid arrays.
“We are targeting hybrid arrays, looking to eliminate them entirely, with introduction of a lower entry point with the FlashArray//C40,” Baker noted. The new technology provides better metrics on how QLC drives are performing.”
The //C40 also adds a more flexible upgrade capacity suited for its market segment.
“The upgrade in the //C series has been in 10 drive segments,” Baker said. “With the //C40, we have provided a more granular 2-drive expansion capability. Baker indicated that this 2-drive upgrade capability will be available throughout the C series, but that they think that the low end //C40 is where the demand for it will be.
FlashArray is also being strengthened by an extension of Pure’s partnership with data management vendor Komprise. It will add Komprise Asynchronous Replication to Pure’s existing reseller offerings.
FlashBlade, Pure’s Unified Fast File and Object storage platform, also gets a facelift with its Purity 3.2 software release.
“We didn’t evangelize the need for this that loudly until the last year or so,” said Amy Fowler, Vice President, Strategy and Solutions, FlashBlade Business Unit at Pure. “Dedicated storage managers are not what people want these days. They want something that is simple and easy to use, but able to scale.”
In addition to the same new SafeMode capability added to the FlashArray software, this version of the FlashBlade software adds high performance native fast SMB protocol support.
“Our massively distributed key-value pair database is what allows us to deliver high performance at scale across all protocols, and takes advantage of core data services like replication and snapshots,” Fowler said. “Sparse file support is also new, and will let customers take advantage of thin provisioning VMware environments.” A cross-protocol security design is also new, while the object storage stack has been enhanced with S3 support.
“We have also added granular real time insights, because there has been a demand and an ask for our customer in certain types of industries,” Fowler added.
Expansion into new use cases, and with it new verticals, is a major expectation of this release.
“SQL backup is a key new use case enabled by the rapid restore and ransomware recovery,” Fowler said. “This is the latest piece in the puzzle relative to helping customers in data protection environments they work in. There is no shortage of large SQL environments out there.”
Another use case where Fowler expects this new version will do well is Healthcare PACS, the diagnostic imaging market.
“FlashBlade becomes extremely relevant where providers look to bring AI to the data,” she said. “The introduction of SMB support also helps us in the Windows-based market here. Our Evergreen support is also an asset in this market.”
The new features in Purity for FlashArray are available now. The new features in Purity for FlashBlade will be available later in Q1.