The second quarter was an interesting and unique time for Pure. We’ve been super busy as a FlashBlade® team. We extended our partnership with Cohesity to offer FlashRecover™, Powered by Cohesity®. We teamed up with Folding@Home to help combat COVID-19. And two months ago we introduced UFFO, a new way to think about modern storage.

Unified Fast File and Object (UFFO) brings fast file and fast object under one hood. It’s a trend the analysts are taking increasingly more notice of, and we’re steadfast in our belief that UFFO is the future.

While organizations using FlashBlade for fast file or fast object outnumber those using fast file and fast object, we’re seeing more of the latter—those moving to an “and” approach—each day. Over time, we believe the majority of our customer base will transition to utilizing FlashBlade for UFFO. And we expect the demand to hold true industry-wide. 

Let’s talk about why.

Five truths are driving the need for file and object adoption in a single platform. Keep in mind ours are on separate namespaces within one platform. (For more about this technical clarification see Designing a System to Store Both Files and Objects from FlashBlade’s Chief Architect Igor Ostrovsky). 

Each of these truths is inextricably tied to a modern data challenge you’re facing today and demands an underlying infrastructure built to address it. 

  • Machine-generated data: With the increase of machine-generated data comes a desire for real-time insights and correlation on larger data sets. Three examples include ElasticSearch, Splunk, and Vertica. 
  • Data reuse: The analytics-AI continuum creates a need to re-use data across applications. As you look to do more with your data, FlashBlade can serve as a central repository rather than copying data to all potential applications. 
  • Performance demands: Throughput-hungry applications in technical computing and machine learning environments demand more from your systems. FlashBlade’s massively parallel architecture is perfectly suited to address these performance-intensive applications.
  • Prevalence of fast object: Performance is critical across the entire AI and analytics spectrum, creating rapidly growing demand for fast-object storage to serve this need for ML and software development workflows. 
  • Ransomware attacks: It’s not a secret that ransomware poses a significant challenge in both the private and public sectors. Pure has developed solutions in partnership with the industry’s top data-protection vendors to enable organizations to rapidly restore from an immutable copy of backup data in the event of an attack.  

These challenges are shaping the future of modern data. Today, some require fast file, some require fast object, and some need both. But most organizations face a set of challenges that will collectively require fast file and fast object storage before long. The ability to consolidate diverse workloads onto a single storage platform provides investment protection by addressing current as well as future challenges. And eliminating silos delivers efficiency gains both in the data center (power/space/cooling) as well as for infrastructure teams (fewer silos to become an expert on).  

A single platform that delivers fast file and object with the multi-dimensional performance these workloads require—and is underpinned by a focus on simplicity both in architecture and manageability—has not been done before. And it’s precisely the opportunity we are seizing now. 

In his recent market note on unified fast file and object, IDC’s Eric Burgener called our approach to the FlashBlade platform “unified storage done right.” In it, he notes that our native file-system support means that FlashBlade operates out of a truly shared storage pool. And while we know this approach takes longer than the bolt-on methodology some of our competitors employ, the result is well worth it. Per IDC, our approach offers a better value proposition around unified storage. 

Creating a new category is hard work, and doesn’t happen overnight, but we are positioned to do just that with UFFO. With FlashBlade, we’ve made massive strides in a short time already thanks to the best technical team in the business. We’ve always challenged ourselves to think future-forward in the best interest of our customers. And UFFO exemplifies that mindset. 

We’d love to hear from you on this new position. Your input is important to us as we chart the next steps in our journey.