In a very competitive storage market, how can you decide which vendor claims to believe?
Clearly you should take time to understand the products being offered. Is the architecture sound? What’s the long term plan? How will your investment in this platform be protected? Does it meet your needs now and in the future? Is support any good? And of course are the economics right?
Once you’ve met with your Pure account team or one of our many accredited channel partners, seen a demo and done your research, I’d be surprised if you weren’t slightly sceptical. “It’s too good to be true!” is a common reaction. It’s understandable to be wary of what vendors claim (although independent references are of course very helpful). We back up everything we say with the broadest guarantee in the industry but understand that you’re likely going to want to test it for yourself.
At Pure, we believe in being open and transparent about all our features and how the arrays work. This includes adaptive data reduction, an architecture to ensure no performance loss during a controller failure, non-disruptive upgrades and expansion, clear capacity and performance reporting, fanatical customer support, local snapshots and multi-site replication with policy-based automation, and even quotes based on 100% usable capacity (that you can use in its entirety without loss of performance). Part of this openness is to actively encourage customers to test our arrays in a Proof of Concept (PoC), even alongside the competition. Why? Because customers that do this can see our claims are true and choose Pure with confidence.
The Proof of Concept
A PoC is an investment of your time – and time is not cheap. So we help make the PoC as quick and efficient as possible for you, the customer, but without cutting any corners. Your Pure Systems Engineer will work with you to agree the test plan, to test not only features and performance, but availability and support – how quickly do support ring you when you pull a drive or fail a controller at a time you choose? They will even incorporate tests that may have been suggested to you by competitors. They will also work with you to identify meaningful metrics to your business and your applications so that you can evaluate the real-world impact that the platform will have on your operations.
The success criteria for the PoC will be whatever you consider important for your business, users and operations and not what we or an other vendor thinks that they should be. Ultimately, our PoC processes and best practices have been shaped by and with our customers and partners and continue to evolve on that basis. The result is that the PoC is structured and relevant with measurable outcomes and can be completed in a period of two weeks, even with sophisticated application and infrastructure testing. I continue to be impressed with the quality and talent of my fellow SEs in the Pure SE community who drive these PoCs.
A recent example was a PoC where the customer measured that they could spin up a complete copy of their production environment of 300+ VMs for development in just 40 minutes. This was taking over 6 hours on their legacy disk array which consumed 3 times the space and power. They are now in production and are one of many Pure Storage customers that have a competitive advantage in their industry
So make sure to try before you buy, and when you’re done, ask for a real guarantee.