Our hearty Pure Storage® crew made it to the end of a satisfying and busy Microsoft Ignite 2019 conference in Orlando during the week of November 4th. With more than 25,000 attendees at Microsoft’s largest annual event, we had many opportunities to engage with people to share how Pure is delivering a modern data experience within the Microsoft ecosystem.

At our orange-clad booth, we ran mini-theater sessions daily. Our team showcased solutions around SQL Server databases, data protection, integration, and automation for Windows Admin Center. We also featured new enhancements to developer tools like Powershell SDK, and delivered demonstrations of our Cloud Block Store integration with Azure Cloud to help organizations execute on hybrid-cloud strategies.

Ultimately, we’re focused on solving the big challenges around risk reduction, cost optimization, and value creation for organizations that rely upon Microsoft applications and cloud services. And we’re delivering around those benefits in three key areas that included some significant announcements made at the show.

Optimizing SQL Server Operations

We announced a new extension for SQL Server Management Studio to enable DBAs and other IT ops pros to simplify how they manage, monitor, and run SQL Server on Pure FlashArray™. The extension provides the capability to create application-consistent database snapshots directly from SMSS to simplify backup and restore operations for the Pure FlashArray. Barkz, our senior director of applications engineering, was on hand to showcase and demo the new extension, which Microsoft Ignite 2019drew much interest from the assembled crowds of SQL Server DBAs. Beyond that, we heard from many existing Pure customers running SQL Server about how they love the simplicity that we deliver for database operations, including reducing downtime with Evergreen™ storage. In the words of one SQL Server DBA, “You’ve given me back 6 weekends a year where I don’t have to go in and manage software updates and hardware refreshes.” That’s what we love to hear.

New Integrations with Windows Admin Center

Microsoft recognized Pure as one of the top extension partners in delivering third-party integrations to Windows Admin Center (WAC). Given that WAC is Microsoft’s next-generation management tool for Windows Server, failover clustering, hyper-convergence, and more, we’re constantly focusing on finding value-added ways to integrate FlashArray management into this framework. Two sessions from the Microsoft team covered details of the new integrations and highlighted the third-party integration into WAC. Key capabilities include the ability to connect and manage on-premises FlashArray with Pure Cloud Block Store for Azure and AWS functionality. It also provides more powerful insights into dashboard views for monitoring key performance metrics and managing volumes, protection groups, and host groups.

Technical Preview of Cloud Block Store for Microsoft Azure

At Ignite, we announced beta availability and a technical preview of our Cloud Block Store (CBS) services for Microsoft Azure. This is the next step in continuing to bridge the gap between private and public cloud environments, providing consistent Purity data services, and necessary automation and APIs to provide all your Microsoft applications and data with seamless hybrid cloud mobility.

By extending Purity software to Azure cloud, CBS brings all the goodness that Pure customers have come to love Pure for – reliability, high data reduction ratios, instant space-saving snapshots and ActiveCluster capabilities. Think of this as a virtual FlashArray in the Azure Cloud. The Cloud Block Store for Azure beta program is now open for registration. Sign up here to be a part of the CBS for Azure beta program.

We’re already looking ahead to Microsoft Ignite 2020 and plan to continue collaborating closely with Microsoft to deliver new integrations and optimizations that make Pure Storage the best data management solution for all your workloads, on-premises and in the cloud.

Learn more about Pure’s technology partnership with Microsoft.