On May 7th, 2018, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced its next generation of Nimble Storage AF series all flash arrays (AFAs) with  three enhancements:

  • The “Store More Guarantee”;
  • A new storage platform that promises to allow customers to take advantage of NVMe and SCM [in the future]; and
  • 3x improvement in price-performance.

All-in we think this announcement is good news for HPE customers. When it comes to cost efficiency, the key is how much data can an array actually store. Blanket efficiency guarantees are neither good for the customer nor the vendor. First because these guarantees tend to err on the side of conservatism to reduce risk for the vendor, which in turns means the customers are not getting the best “bang per buck” they can get (especially if their data is highly reducible). Second, we believe any data reduction (or efficiency) guarantee still misses the point as they don’t guarantee the end customer outcome: effective capacity. After all, applications don’t consume data reduction or efficiency, they consume effective capacity. Here at Pure, we built the Right-Size Guarantee specifically to guarantee the effective capacity your applications consume.


HPE’s new “Store More Guarantee” requires customers to do a Proof-of-Concept (PoC), and we wholeheartedly agree with that idea.  At Pure we believe that doing a PoC is a great way to really test any storage vendor’s offerings, especially with real-world workloads and use-cases as opposed to synthetic “hero benchmarks”. So, while you’re testing out the new Nimble arrays, we wholeheartedly encourage you to test our FlashArray//X! In our customer environments the FlashArray//X delivers industry-leading data reduction – but don’t take our word for it, do a PoC and see for yourself which vendor gives you better efficiency. It’s a classic “no-lose” situation: If Pure gives you better efficiency, great! If you still decide to buy Nimble, you may get more free flash from HPE. After all, you wouldn’t buy a car without test-driving the competition since that’s how you get the best fit for your needs – and typically the best deal as well.

We think that every vendor should encourage customers to do PoCs and offer business-model guarantees that stand behind product claims. But it does seem surprising to us that HPE appears to be offering this guarantee on its mid-range Nimble product but not on its enterprise 3PAR product. If you’re a HPE 3PAR customer we recommend you call HPE and ask for the same terms! And (of course) PoC a FlashArray//X vs. your existing 3PAR. We think you will really appreciate Pure’s industry-leading data reduction, and if not, you may well find yourself with a whole bunch more free storage from HPE!

But why just stop at just benchmarking efficiency? We recommend customers also test for performance, ease-of-use, resiliency, upgradability, supportability, as well as advanced features such as synchronous cross-site mirroring (e.g.such as Pure’s volume-level active/active ActiveCluster.) We bet that once you experience Pure for yourself, you’ll be blown away by the level of Pure’s customer support, with an industry-leading Satmetrix-audited NPS of 83.7.

Back to HPE’s announcement, HPE is promising customers they will be able to take advantage of NVMe and SCM in the future. We wonder, why does it have to be in the future, instead of right now? According to Milan Shetti, general manager for HPE storage, the reason is “SCM and NVMe right now — in the supply chain and from the supply curve standpoint — are not mainstream scale.” Shetti went on to say: “I mean people could use them but the cost factor is still not there; the reality is most of the customers are going to wait for the price curve to hit.”

It turns out our customers *aren’t* waiting! Here at Pure, already approximately 20% of our business, and growing, comes from our end-to-end NVMe FlashArray//X. Our customers are telling us that NVMe is already ready for prime time, and are already enjoying the significant bandwidth, latency, and efficiency benefits enabled by our FlashArray//X.

How did we get here? Back in 2015, Pure took the early step of delivering an NVMe-ready all flash array with our FlashArray//M. We then introduced our all-NVMe FlashArray//X last year, and now, many of our customers who invested in the NVMe-ready FlashArray//M are upgrading to our FlashArray//X as part of their Evergreen™ subscription to innovation!

Evergreen is not just an ownership model. The basic principle behind Evergreen – that customers should invest once, and non-disruptively upgrade continuously with data-in-place and without planned downtime – is part of Pure’s DNA. And it’s what makes our storage experience akin to cloud storage – except it runs on your premises. Evergreen is not something that you can simply add to a legacy array. The array must be engineered from the get-go to be Evergreen. This is one of Pure’s strongest value propositions for our customers, and something that none of our competitors, including HPE, has been able to replicate.

Speaking of comparisons, we invite you to compare what HPE has announced with what we are announcing at Pure //Accelerate in San Francisco, May 22-24, 2018, and compare what Pure has to offer, and why we’ve been recognized as the leader in every all-flash Gartner Magic Quadrant and IDC’s Marketscape. In fact, click here to schedule a PoC of the Pure FlashArray//X TODAY!