The world of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has changed dramatically over the past decade. Early VDI deployments were costly and typically had a difficult time providing consistent performance experience for end-users. Luckily throughout this time, there have been tremendous improvements made to hypervisors, networking, load balancers, security, and most notably storage providers. In 2012, Pure Storage introduced our first all-flash storage array to market, the FlashArray™ FA300. VDI was among the excellent use-cases for all-flash storage. Our customers could provide a fast and consistent VDI experience that their users literally loved and VDI admins loved even more for it’s simplicity to deploy and manage; adoption was not merely easier, but welcomed. We also delivered exceptional value via our unique implementation of software-based data reduction, which for VDI could easily be 10:1 or better, providing massive IT savings! For the first time, users experienced a modern storage platform that not only performed well but also provided exceptional efficiency to IT. All of this equated to lower $/vDesktop and allowed users to leverage persistent vDesktops without a significant capacity overhead.
What’s different today? VDI hypervisors have made significant developments made to their platforms. They are now providing a richer user experience with graphics acceleration, new levels of security, seamless application integration, support for mobile devices, and much more. On the storage side of things, Pure has continued to innovate and enhance our industry leading all-flash array, the FlashArray™//X, with modern, built-for flash, end-to-end NVMe platform along with optional NVMe over fabrics (NVMe-oF), and plug and play next-gen media, Storage Class Memory (SCM).
NVMe is instrumental for increasing capacity density while keeping performance at ultra-low-latency. And with Pure’s Evergreen™ Storage business model and non-disruptively upgradeable architecture, customers can implement a modern data storage platform that will, literally, appreciate and grow better over time. With your Evergreen Gold subscription every three years, customers reap the benefits of new controller architectures when refreshing their Flat and Fair maintenance, which doesn’t increase in cost over time. And customers can upgrade anytime, based on their own growth and VDI needs, with full investment protection using Evergreen Upgrade Flex. The icing on the cake is our proven uptime and reliability: a solid six-nines of uptime (average of Pure’s FlashArray installed-base supporting real-world mixed-workloads) – and, yes, that number includes both software and hardware upgrades! The goal of VDI is to keep costs low, performance high, and maintain exceptional uptime and availability. It’s no wonder that we continue to flourish with this workload.
We’re excited to announce that we’ve scored highest in VDI use case once again, with the recently published 2019 Gartner Critical Capabilities for Solid State Arrays report. We achieved the highest score in the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure category, with a product score of 4.26 out of max. 5. Gartner evaluated many capabilities amongst the storage vendors and have pointed out some of the primary reasons they’ve scored Pure Storage highest in this category. Not surprisingly, they’ve also called out our DirectFlash™ technology. DirectFlash is the way we directly connect our storage controllers to the TLC-NAND chips in each DirectFlash Module. DirectFlash is how we’re able to offer NVMe to customers while providing exceptional performance through Purity//FA software integration with the DirectFlash hardware, and not charging a premium over SAS-connected SSDs. This is the very same technology that will allow us to leverage new types of media that other storage array vendors will find very difficult to integrate, such as QLC. In addition to DirectFlash, Gartner also mentioned our hybrid-cloud capabilities, and our industry-leading and AI-ML-enabled analytics, monitoring, and management platform, Pure1®.
If you’re already running VDI, or thinking of implementing VDI, there’s never been a better time to consider Pure! We have even taken the liberty of doing much of the full-stack testing on your behalf, partnered with Cisco. Check out our FlashStack™ Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) for both VMware and Citrix. We’ll also be sure and provide you with the peace of mind, and risk mitigation, of our Evergreen business model. We look forward to hearing from you!