It’s been nearly six years since we introduced the Evergreen Storage subscription program to help you adapt and respond to changing business and IT imperatives. It also enables you to save money by eliminating the need for costly forklift upgrades. 

Key components of our Evergreen Gold subscription include Free Every Three and Upgrade Flex offerings to help you keep your FlashArray controllers modern. Another critical piece, Capacity Consolidation, helps you preserve your investment in flash media as you expand and modernize your arrays. 

Pure Storage® has a market-leading Medallia-audited Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 83.5 thanks in large part to these features and cost savings.

Data Storage Innovation without Impact

As with software as a service, Evergreen Storage just keeps getting better—without downtime or performance impact. From acquiring to managing to upgrading your storage, you get value and peace of mind. It’s a subscription to innovation in your data center.  

Like all successful visionaries that help change a market, we’ve seen our share of imitators. The beneficiary has been you, our customers. Many legacy storage vendors have offered programs and promotions that attempt to mimic what Pure offers. But Pure’s storage products were engineered to be Evergreen from the start. That’s not something a legacy vendor can duplicate through marketing or a loyalty program. And that’s why none have come close to Evergreen Storage.

The Common Flash Storage Pitfall

The Right-Size Guarantee, part of the Evergreen Storage program, solves a common pitfall you might face when buying flash storage. Storage vendors have sought for years to fit more data into less raw flash. As a result, there are many competing claims on how well each vendor delivers on this goal. 

Pure has been a proven leader in this space since the early days of flash. We’ve invested in developing advanced data reduction technologies that are always-on and deliver results typically 2x better than other storage vendors (our global average total efficiency is 10:1). But you could easily be caught in a flash-sizing dilemma. On the one hand, you risk buying too little storage if a vendor’s data reduction or storage efficiency claims don’t match your reality. And that could leave you scrambling to add capacity and impact both your budgets and operations. On the flip side, you also risk having to buy too much storage. If that happens, you could tie up precious resources and limit your ability to respond to other IT imperatives.

Flash Sizing Basics

Comparing storage arrays can be tricky. How exactly are arrays sized? And what do all the different terms like raw, usable, and effective mean? 

Let’s start with the basics. If you need a certain amount of storage, 200TB, for example, you don’t necessarily go out and buy that much in flash (or even disk). You would tell a storage vendor that you need 200TB in effective capacity. That’s the total space that an array will deliver while it’s running. 

In the flash world, you work backward from the effective capacity number to determine how much actual (or raw) flash you need to deliver it. Another component of the equation is system overhead, the space required for system software that provides fancy storage features, RAID overhead, etc.

The basic formula is this: 

Raw Capacity – System Overhead () = Usable Storage

Then, you multiply the usable storage amount by a data reduction ratio to deliver the total effective capacity. So, if you need 200TB of effective capacity, it might look like this:

150TB Raw Capacity – 50TB System Overhead = 100TB Usable Capacity

then

100TB Usable Capacity x 2:1 Data Reduction Ratio = 200TB Effective Capacity

Obviously, if we increased the data-reduction ratio, we’d wind up with more effective capacity. If it’s 3:1, we’d get 300TB effective. But, more important, if you don’t need the extra capacity now, you could reduce the amount of raw flash required by 33% to 100TB (from 150TB). You’d lower your acquisition costs while still getting the 200TB you need.

So, the data reduction ratio is vital. It drives efficiency and potentially lowers your initial acquisition costs. But what if you don’t get the 3:1 ratio that was promised? Then you’ll run out of space. If you buy based on a ratio of 3:1 but only get 2:1, you’ll be short on capacity by 33%. Ouch.

How Pure’s Right-Size Guarantee Works

Enter Pure’s Right-Size Guarantee, which we’ve had in place since 2016. The Right-Size Guarantee shifts your sizing risk at first purchase onto Pure. We guarantee a data-reduction value and a minimum amount of effective storage that will meet your needs.  Because the sizing question you probably care about most is: Will I have enough storage for all of my data? 

With the Right-Size Guarantee, you get guaranteed effective capacity that ensures you’re buying just the amount of storage you need when you need it. You avoid the twin risks of buying too little storage and scrambling to add capacity later or buying too much and wasting precious resources.

How does the Right-Size Guarantee work? First, Pure works with you to gather your effective capacity requirements by workload—any workload. The more we know, the more accurate and efficient the configuration we can offer. 

We derive expected data reductions by workload from our global installed base behind the scenes using the Pure1® array management system. With Pure1, we can see how FlashArray devices are actually performing in the field. We can predict the data-reduction and total-efficiency ratios that specific workloads will get based on this real-world data. We then apply those ratios to your effective-capacity requirements to generate an efficient, right-sized configuration backed by a guaranteed effective-capacity number.

With Pure’s Right-Size Guarantee, you’re free to focus on your effective capacity and applications while Pure takes care of the rest. If your FlashArray device doesn’t deliver on the promised effective capacity as you migrate your data over the six months of the guarantee, we’ll make it right. That includes providing free additional flash, as needed to meet the written guarantee. And we’ll do it non-disruptively—and not just for first-time purchases. Any capacity expansion purchase can trigger a new Right-Size Guarantee. Coverage extends for another 12 months on the new total capacity and workload mix. 

With the Right-Size Guarantee, you get the storage you need and never have to worry about buying an undersized (or oversized) array now or in the future. The Right-Size Guarantee is available with the Evergreen Gold and Silver subscriptions.

Beware of Imitators

The imitation game I mentioned earlier plays out in this space, too. Every storage vendor is naturally trying to show its technology in the best light possible, especially when trying to compete with Pure’s industry-leading data reduction and total efficiency. As a result, some vendors add technologies that might technically be considered storage efficiencies into their numbers. These have little bearing on true data reduction or delivering more effective storage to customers. Examples of these include snapshot savings, thin provisioning, and RAID tiering. 

It’s easy to get confused by the endless claims by storage vendors of their efficiency or data reduction ratios—and by the different kinds of guarantees offered to try and imitate Pure’s Right-Size Guarantee. Most (if not all) of these guarantees focus solely on the claimed ratio— efficiency, data reduction, or some other term. And that’s all the guarantee covers, not the resulting effective storage. Not to mention, most of these guarantees are strictly time-bound. They’re offered for a limited time and can’t be extended.

In contrast, Pure’s Right-Size Guarantee focuses on the effective capacity that you want. And our data reduction uses proven methods such as deduplication and data compression—the only methods that actually reduce the required amount of raw storage. Thus, they’re the methods that should be used in sizing an array. The result? With Pure, we make things simpler and more transparent. There’s already enough confusion out there: Am I buying enough? Are these vendors comparable in their claims? Whose numbers can I trust? 

With Pure, it’s simple, and it’s Evergreen.

For More Information

Download the IDC white paper on Evergreen.
Read our post about how Evergreen Storage can help you save money and deliver the agility needed for today’s IT.