The first time Paul Valvasori heard about Pure Storage®, he thought it sounded too good to be true. Five years ago, he was at the Citrix Synergy conference in Orlando, Fla., commiserating with a fellow IT professional about poor storage performance.
“He told me Pure Storage made a night-and-day difference in performance. End users didn’t know what he did, but they were thanking him for it,” Valvasori says. “To be honest, I was skeptical because it sounded like a sales pitch.”
But Valvasori was under pressure to find a solution. As Citrix Service Manager for the Americas at steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Valvasori had recently helped architect and migrate the company’s large legacy application portfolio to a Citrix server-based environment, which relied heavily upon compute, storage, and network infrastructure.
“It became obvious that our storage was a bottleneck,” he remembers. “People were waiting several minutes for applications to respond, and we would get a flood of help desk calls. It was not a good, or acceptable, end-user experience.”
When Valvasori visited the Pure booth at the conference, he was clear about what he wanted: a proof of concept (POC), in his environment, with his workloads. And he wasn’t disappointed. The POC happened quickly, and not too long after, he had Pure FlashArray™ running in two data centers, supporting the entire Citrix environment, including over 300 applications used for business and manufacturing processes.
“It was really simple to install the arrays and get them up and running,” Valvasori says. “From that point on, our bottleneck issues went away. Our users were launching Citrix hosted applications in 45 seconds or less rather than two or three minutes.”
As he worked with Pure on sizing, he worried about meeting space requirements within budget. But with 10:1 data reduction rates, it turns out it wasn’t a problem—each array had 28TB of usable space, far exceeding the required 15TB. As a result, Valvasori can add more workloads over time and potentially Oracle and SQL databases as well down the road.
These days, the Citrix environment at ArcelorMittal Dofasco plays a crucial business continuity role as 1,500 employees work from home during the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, remote work through Citrix and Pure was a key piece of the company’s pandemic response plan, though the idea seemed far-flung six years ago.
“No one expected a pandemic on this scale—we just needed this element to our disaster recovery plan,” Valvasori says. “Some thought it was overkill when I presented the plan, but it was a good thing we followed through.”
Last year, Valvasori experienced his first Pure Evergreen Storage™ upgrade.
“Pure Evergreen is like a breath of fresh air,” he says. “We upgraded two FlashArrays in two data centers in less than two hours with zero downtime or any complex planning. I’ve never seen anything like that in my 30-plus years in IT.”
The high level of support is also valuable to Valvasori, who once received a proactive call from Pure when a member of the cleaning staff accidentally disconnected the power supply on an array. In addition, he uses the Pure1® app to keep his eye on storage operations.
“I can check the vital signs of our arrays wherever I am,” he says. “Having that data intelligence at my fingertips gives me a lot of visibility and predictability. The whole model is a great example of how the entire tech industry should be doing things.”
Valvasori now understands why that IT professional at the Citrix conference was pitching Pure so enthusiastically. He finds himself doing the same thing.
“I’d tell any company—you’re missing a huge opportunity if you don’t look at Pure Storage to support your high-performance, business-critical workloads,” he says.
Find out how you can take your storage to the next level with Pure. Call us at 800-379-7873 or email us.