Pure has always been a company of innovation, inspired to action by our customers and our customers’ customers. Here are some of our firsts:

  • Pioneered all-flash storage array
  • Pioneered an all-inclusive storage array software model
  • Helped make the economics of flash viable with the industry’s leading data reduction capabilities
  • Created the Evergreen™ model of ownership
  • Eliminated planned downtime and data migrations, by engineering our products to be stateless and Evergreen First with NVMe ready enterprise tier 1 storage array with the FlashArray//M
  • First with an all NVMe full-featured tier 1 flash array with the FlashArray//X

We keep innovating because we’re passionate about improving our customers’ lives and making making storage something that “just works.” And our customers’ reactions reflect that. For example, Kevin Smith from Black Duck Software has told us that “If we weren’t getting these great reduction rates, we’d have to buy three to four times the storage we currently have. Installing the FlashArray allowed us to shrink storage from three racks down to just 10U. As we use a co-location facility, that means significant savings on rack space, power and cooling costs.”

We love it when our customers confirm that our innovation is empowering them to build a better world with data.

But we’re also delighted when our competitors follow our lead. After all, imitation is the highest form of flattery.

An example is Dell EMC’s launch of its “Future-Proof Loyalty Program” promising among other things, a three year satisfaction guarantee, a 4:1 efficiency guarantee, never worry migrations, hardware investment protection, and all-inclusive software applications. On the surface, this sounds like some of Pure’s programs. Dell EMC’s modest efficiency guarantee does not compare to our proven and published average total efficiency of over 10:1, and as for never worry migrations, with Pure, you simply never have to do any! And, don’t forget our all-inclusive software model, which we have been constantly improving and expanding features since our first product in 2012.

And now, Dell EMC has tried to imitate Pure again by using the term “self-driving storage” in its marketing. In its blog, Dell EMC talks about the use of AI and how it has implemented it in the PowerMax.

Here at Pure, we are also big fans of the concept of “self-driving storage.” After all, we introduced the concept over a year ago at our //Accelerate conference in May of 2017! We are proud to have a leadership role in this area and continue to influence others to follow suit.

In August 2017, we released our first AI/ML-driven product, the Pure1® META Workload Planner, and we have since added considerably more AI/ML capabilities to the workload planner. The latest feature workload simulations allows customers to simulate workload changes with volumes.


The differences between what Dell EMC is talking about, and what Pure is doing through Pure1® and Pure1 META

Most of Dell EMC’s “AI” is about data placement on the PowerMax. The AI that Dell EMC discusses reflects technology from the VMAX days in the form of its Fully Automated Storage Tiering (or FAST). FAST is all about data placement.

In the VMAX, where it can support multiple types of media – SSDs, 15K, 10K and 7.2K HDDs, this made sense, as it was necessary to have some intelligence in terms of where to place data to maximize performance. However, in the PowerMax, there is only one type of media – NVMe SSDs. Many question the need for AI and machine learning given this scenario as AI only has one decision to make–where will I put the data – on an SSD or an SSD!

Additionally, the AI/ML “intelligence” does not remove the user from having to configure, tune, and reconfigure things like whether a volume should be RAID 5 or RAID 6 (BTW, unless you want your data to be less secure, always choose RAID 6). This approach still requires the user to decide whether to have a volume compressed or deduplicated, and whether it should be encrypted.

When evaluating, it’s important to understand and ask Dell EMC about the need for data placement “intelligence” to simplify operations and provide global level visibility when there is only one tier of storage. On the other hand, in helping to understand Pure’s approach, our Pure1 META Workload Planner and VM Analytics can create predictability and confidence in capacity and performance planning, as well as simulating upgrades to reduce the risk involved in infrastructure changes. No more Excel spreadsheets for planning! The storage admin can work with VM admins and application admins to optimize performance and service levels – activities that help to generate value for the organization, instead of spending time tuning and reconfiguring the array.

Pure1 META

Ultimately, it’s all about the data and how you derive intelligence from it, not about the underlying storage media. Organizations should spend time and money on making data work for them, not the storage.