FlashStack CI: The All-flash Converged Infrastructure Advantage

A FlashStack all-flash converged infrastructure can provide CI for high performance and mixed, consolidated workloads at the price of a disk-based CI.


Last week Pure Storage launched FlashStack™ – our Converged Infrastructure with Cisco and VMware. Based on the volume of coverage from the press and analysts  it appears we hit the mark. With a market currently estimated in excess of $6B USD (per Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems), the Converged Infrastructure (CI) market is sizable and all indications suggest it will continue to expand.

Our growth has rocked Pure Storage® from up-start to industry leader. With more and more global and fortune 500 companies trusting their businesses to Pure, it became apparent that the time had arrived for us to enter the CI market. Allow me to share a quick overview of FlashStack and then let’s discuss why an All-Flash CI is a significant advancement over any form of CI running on disk.

The evolution of the converged infrastructure market

Converged infrastructures are viewed as a means to accelerate the deployment and raise the availability of infrastructure. The former may be understood but the latter is widely discussed between IT vendors. If you think opening fewer support tickets is nice, imagine the impact on the vendor side.

It’s funny how fast IT evolves. CIs were once only thought possible via fixed hardware-defined configurations (think VBlock here), deployed collectively as a unit. This model has given way to reference architectures (like FlashStack, FlexPod, SmartStack, VSPEX, etc), designed to scale compute, network and storage in a granular manner that aligns with the growth of the business.

The converged infrastructure market also includes hyper-converged platforms (like EVO: Rail, Nutanix, etc). These server-only architectures offer new options in the CI space for small and mid-sized businesses.

There’s no right or wrong choice in CI, simply select your preferred mode of CI and move on. When you’re in IT Ops, there’s always something demanding your attention.

Today’s all-flash CIs are limited in capability

There are a number of CIs on the market that provide an all-flash configuration. Unfortunately the majority of these offerings are limited to IO intensive and performance sensitive workloads like OLTP databases and big data analytics. Whether too expensive (lacking or limited data reduction), lacking enterprise data services (replication, encryption, snapshots, etc), or void of non-disruptive updates and scaling – these architectures don’t work as an option as a next-gen CI.

4 Benefits of the FlashStack CI All-flash Converged Infrastructure

A FlashStack can provide CI for high performance and mixed, consolidated workloads at the price of a disk-based CI. The secret sause that breaks the economic barrier for broad flash adoption is in Purity O.E., the operating environment of the FlashArray. Change your storage not your budget and reap the benefits of sub-millisecond latency and an inherent 20X gain in IOPs…

  1. Increase business results: Studies show reduced application latency directly correlates to user satisfaction and engagement. Want happier customers who purchase more of your goods and services, or increased employee productivity, or greater insight from your data, then reduce latency.
  2. Scale the cloud: Know how many of your CIO’s initiatives for 2015 are targeted to run on a virtual infrastructure? I bet it’s more than half. Have a number of applications ‘too demanding’ to be virtualized? Stop turning nerd-knobs in an attempt to keep things afloat with disk. Align with your CIO and get strategic. FlashStack is more adept to handle unexpected changes in workloads than any disk-based CI. Say the following out load, “New applications to deploying in 2015… no problem.”
  3. Simplify IT operations: Storage has been the bane of virtual infrastructures. Much of today’s innovation is tactical, focused on deploying solution centric silos. How much appetitive do you have to adopt 4 new storage technologies to address VDI, OLTP databases, big data analytics or improve your core VMware cloud? FlashStack CI covers all of these needs with a single approach. So simple with VMware you will simply need to try it to believe it.
  4. Reinvent your budget: Predictable long-term growth: FlashStack CI includes all-inclusive storage software licensing and ForeverFlash  Never pay capacity based licensing for storage (duh, your organization will have more data tomorrow). With ForeverFlash, when you extended maintenance beyond 3 years, we’ll keep the price flat and include free controller upgrades that install non-disruptively and without a drop in performance.

What more could you ask for in a next-gen converged infrastructure? FlashStack has a long a diverse roadmap that we at Pure Storage and a number of technology partners will be rolling out through 2015 and beyond.

So What’s FlashStack CI? A 100-word Introduction

FlashStack is comprised of Pure Storage FlashArray 400 series storage, Cisco UCS-B blade servers and Nexus 5500 series switches. VMware is powering the initial solutions with server virtualization / cloud computing infrastructures built on vSphere 5 and end-user computing (EUC) running Horizon 6.

FlashStack includes a single support number and is backed by our Authorized Support Partner program. FlashStack ASPs are trained and certified to sell, install, upgrade and provide level 1 and 2 support – or in other words – ensure customer success.

There’s much more to FlashStack CI than I covered here, so click on each of the four links in this section to continue the introduction – they span from product information to reference architecture soluiton whitepaper.