Today’s service providers and enterprise IT managers are fully embracing the cloud model of operations and are driving hard to turn everything into a service. To support this shift, storage and other tier 1 infrastructure must be architected for (and proven to deliver) non-stop service without planned downtime. And new pay-per-use financial consumption models can complement such services, delivering tremendous value for those enterprises with OPEX-centric budgets (even mandates) and/or a higher need for short term-flexibility not possible with CAPEX. Traditionally, operating leases have attempted to play this latter role by wrapping storage equipment with long-term financing and thus turning storage CAPEX purchases into a stream of OPEX payments.
However, new lease accounting rules from the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) are re-defining what it means to be a true OPEX lease According to BDO, the new Australian Accounting Standards Board regulation “requires virtually all leases to be capitalised on the balance sheet” – meaning that most “utility” models offered from other storage vendors are no longer OPEX, which is exactly the opposite of the cloud model.
Today, we’re excited to announce our EvergreenTM Storage Service (or ES2 for short), the first and only true, 100% OPEX, non-stop storage service for private, hybrid, and multi-cloud. Pure ES2 is purpose-built for the cloud model, delivering proven 99.9999% availability at half the cost of public cloud storage, with all our proven enterprise-class features and all-flash performance!
The Evergreen Storage Service is a pay-per-use1 offering that marks the arrival of enterprise-class storage-as-a-service. Available now in Australia, Pure ES2 delivers the 100% OPEX consumption model benefits of the public cloud coupled with the high degree of enterprise flexibility, availability, security, performance, and efficiency of Pure’s tier 1 all-flash storage.
Pure ES2 flexibly delivers your storage capacity as a service in your private or hybrid cloud – backed by Pure’s industry-leading hardware, software, and white-glove support – on a pay-per-use1, $/GB per month basis for terms starting as low as 12 months. When your term ends, simply return the equipment. You now have total flexibility to consume our tier 1 storage either by purchasing our Evergreen Storage FlashArray (with primarily CAPEX dollars) when optimizing for cost, or subscribing to our Evergreen Storage Service (with 100% OPEX dollars) when optimizing for flexibility. Either way, you and your internal and/or external customers get non-stop storage service without maintenance windows to slow you down or interrupt critical business.
With the Evergreen Storage Service, you can finally build the private and hybrid cloud you’ve been waiting for, leveraging the public cloud natively and consuming all services via 100% OPEX. You’ll get tier 1 availability and services for your tier 1 apps, combined with maximum public cloud agility for your emerging, bursty apps. The result is a true multi-cloud, with flexibility to develop, release, scale and optimise all manner of applications and services flexibly and easily.
On the hybrid cloud front, you get the ability to connect Pure Storage arrays to Azure via Azure ExpressRoute or to AWS via AWS Direct Connect either from your on-premises data center or from a nearby Equinix Data Center.
We have collateral, design guides, and videos to help you get started, and we also offer Open Connect software which accelerates and simplifies this hybrid cloud connectivity. Head over to http://code.purestorage.com/ to get the goods. No surprise,you can do all of this with either your own Pure Storage arrays or with Pure’s via Evergreen Storage Service.
If you want to cost-optimise your primary workloads in your private and hybrid clouds even further, with Purity ActiveCluster, you will be able to transition those workloads non-disruptively from the Evergreen Storage Service to a net-new Evergreen Storage FlashArray purchased with CAPEX. It’s all Evergreen Storage after all, and you have flexibility to transition your financial consumption model.
Now that we’ve covered the basics on what Pure ES2 is, and what you can do with it, let’s dig into to the details of how it works. Since the Evergreen Storage Service is purpose-built for the cloud model, let’s start by comparing it to the public clouds with which you are probably already very familiar.
The Evergreen Storage Service works just like the cloud-model services you are used to, but in your data center. Similar to Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (or EC2), Pure ES2 is comprised of two components: On-Demand capacity (paid as-you-go) and Reserve capacity (committed for the length of your service term).
We believe that, at this point, everyone in IT should be benchmarking their capabilities vs. available public cloud alternatives across all relevant dimensions, whether performance, agility, availability, cost or others. After all, the emergence of the public cloud has given lines of business this option if they aren’t getting the service levels they need from IT to support their desired innovation and time-to-market goals.
When benchmarked against AWS Elastic Block Store (EBS), Microsoft Azure Premium Disks, and Google Compute SSD Persistent Disks, Evergreen Storage Service delivers proven 99.9999% availability at half the cost2. Pure ES2 is tier 1 storage purpose-built for the cloud model.
One of the beautiful things about the public cloud is cost transparency – you know what services cost up-front (though modeling them against your workloads to accurately predict future costs can be a challenge). If you are familiar with Pure, you’ll know that we are also big fans of transparency and of putting customer needs first and foremost. And so we are also publishing our Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)3 for our Evergreen Storage Service. We want to make it easy for you to benchmark us against alternatives. For example you can check out our TCO Calculator that benchmarks Pure ES2 to Public Cloud storage over time. We even factor in colo costs for our service to make benchmarking truly apples-to-apples. It’s that core customer-centric ethos that translates into a radically better experience for our customers (hence our 2017 Satmetrix-validated NPS score of 83.7)
Pure ES2 is powered by FlashArray, so let’s start by exploring the CAPEX model. The green curve represents your actual storage consumption. Traditional storage architectures are hard to scale easily and non-disruptively as capacity grows, and traditional storage vendors want to extract as many up-front dollars from customers as they can (not very customer friendly in our view). This leads to the traditional large CAPEX purchase cycle (represented by the grey area) which leaves significant amounts of storage capacity idle for long periods of time, often years, wasting expensive resources. The flip side of this is when demand outstrips the time to provision new storage, leading to lost opportunities and delayed time to market.
In contrast, our Evergreen Storage FlashArray architecture enables easy, incremental, non-disruptive scaling and operations (i.e. no maintenance windows) all the way from 10s of TBs to 1.5PB effective in a single array. Our customers love how our unique, lean CAPEX approach already lets them stay closer to their actual consumption curve, with a non-stop “block service” that just works. With Evergreen, customers with CAPEX-centric budgets (the majority) have a much better, and more capital efficient, alternative to CAPEX purchases from traditional storage vendors. But what if you want OPEX? While you could wrap a traditional lease around Evergreen Storage – we now have a much better answer.
Our new Evergreen Storage Service builds on our lean, Evergreen foundation. With Pure ES2 you request an initial amount of effective capacity, say 50TBs, and we deploy enough FlashArray capacity into your environment to give you that 50TBs plus at least a 25% buffer, and maintain at least a 25% buffer as your usage grows. Importantly, from an AASB lease accounting perspective the FlashArrays powering Pure ES2 are owned by Pure and are not “identified assets”. Pure exclusively chooses the initial equipment and configures, upgrades and expands it as needed (without performance disruption or downtime) to meet your requirements over time. Pure ES2 is a true storage service, designed to be 100% OPEX even for terms of 24 months or more.
To follow our example, that initial 50TBs is your initial minimum Reserve capacity commitment for the duration of your subscription term (as short as 12 months). From here, you consume the storage capacity you need and you are (through a partner) billed quarterly in arrears for that On-Demand usage on a flat $/GB/month basis using our standard rate. Your Reserve is billed upfront also on a flat $/GB/month basis, but using our discounted rate. Since your total consumption is a combination of Reserve plus On-Demand capacity, you will effectively end up with a blended (or average) $/GB rate that is lower than your On-Demand rate and higher than your Reserve rate.
Because there are no “identified assets” in Pure ES2, both the On-Demand and Reserve capacity billings count as true OPEX. The result is true pay-per-use1 cloud-model consumption that mirrors your actual storage usage. And when benchmarked against the public cloud, Pure ES2 costs significantly less than AWS. But we’re not done yet!
The Evergreen Storage Service lets you keep your minimum Reserve constant and simply scale elastically up all the way to 1.5PB effective per array and all the way back down to your minimum Reserve if needed. Talk about flexibility! That said, if you’re like most storage users you’ll probably keep growing throughout your subscription term and only occasionally shrink your usage. To help you manage your costs even more effectively, you can routinely expand your minimum Reserve as you grow (we’ll co-term each Reserve expansion), thus lowering your blended (or average) $/GB rate.
We expect most Evergreen Storage Service subscribers to follow this path, on average keeping roughly 80% of their consumption in Reserve and 20% in On-Demand capacity. When we benchmark this mainstream usage of Pure ES2 with the public cloud, our blended $/GB/mo rate is half that of AWS EBS. It’s maximum agility with minimum wasted cost.
If you’re looking to pair the best available private cloud, tier 1 storage with the transparent consumption model of the public cloud, our new Evergreen Storage Service is for you. And if you’re new to Pure and our FlashArray and unsure whether we are a fit for your workloads, you can effectively use Pure ES2 as a way to try-before-you-buy with a short 12 month term and no commitment afterwards. If you love your experience as much as the rest of our customers, you can scale up from there or transition to a net-net CAPEX array.
No surprise, getting started is easy! All you need to tell us is how much storage you want to start with (your Reserve, in effective TBs), and the length of your term (minimum 12 months).
Give us a call!
1Subject to minimum commitment
2As of November 6th, 2017
3Pure reseller partners set final end customer pricing