Does this sound familiar? Your company has bold plans for rolling out new services to help grow the business. That means more data is generated, processed, and stored, and it falls to your team to make it happen. In today’s economic climate, building out a new data center or adding to your existing one can be challenging. Even if you have the budget to buy more storage, expanding your data center footprint with inefficient infrastructure is never the right answer. There are physical space constraints and energy price increases to contend with, equipment lead times, specialty staff availability, and other factors that can hold you back. Simply adding to your already stretched operating costs and, worse, hurting sustainability goals.

FlashArray™ has always led the green wave for data center efficiency, with FlashArray//X™ reducing energy consumption by over 84% compared to the competition and delivering the first sustainability SLA for greener data center solutions. Now, we’ve made even more advances in our already industry-leading performance and efficiencies for FlashArray with the release of the R4 generation.  

With FlashArray//X R4 and FlashArray//C™ R4 and our announcement of 75TB QLC and 36TB TLC DirectFlash® Modules (DFMs), we’ve now achieved: 

  • Up to 40% more performance per watt for FlashArray//X and 48% more for FlashArray//C
  • 51% less rack space per TB for FlashArray//X and 36% less for FlashArray//C

Some might consider this efficiency…extreme.  

Extreme can be a loaded word, but it is good when associated with efficiency and cost-savings. And the benefits they can bring to our customers. Pure Storage has long executed a vision of extreme data center efficiency, and with a further leap today, we continue to lead the industry.  What does that mean exactly, and how do we achieve this? Let’s take a look.

Extreme Performance Efficiency

How did we achieve up to a 40% performance boost with the latest release of FlashArray//X R4 and FlashArray//C R4?

  • 4th Gen Intel Xeon™ processors: We upgraded our controllers with latest-gen Intel CPUs. Intel pushed the envelope with their latest Xeon™ processors, enabling us to significantly impact our performance per watt. 
  • PCIe Gen 4.0: This latest iteration of the PCIe interface standard doubles the bandwidth compared to PCIe 3.0, up to 2Gb/s per lane. We can provide PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes to every component in the hardware architecture.
  • DDR5 DRAM: The fifth generation of DRAM brings an 80% boost in memory speeds, up to 4,400 mega transfers per second (MT/s). Additional performance efficiency is gained through the advancement and expansion of the memory buses provided by the new processor architecture.
  • DirectCompress Accelerator: Pure-built offload compression card boosts inline compress by 30%. Currently shipping with every FlashArray//XL, with R4, it will now be included with larger FlashArray//X and FlashArray//C models (//X90, //X70, //C90, //C70).
  • 64Gb FC and 100GbE at full line rate: With PCIe 4.0 x16, 16 lanes are available to each of FlashArray//X and FlashArray//C R4’s networking ports, allowing them to run full line rate on two ports of 100GbE, four ports of 25GbE, or four ports of 64Gb FC. There is no oversubscription here.
  • NVMe-oF for TCP, FC, and RoCE: Pure Storage is the first vendor to offer NVMe-oF for all the major fabric networks—FC, RoCE, and TCP. NVMe/TCP delivers up to 35% improved latency compared to iSCSI, unlocking the full power of NVMe for standard Ethernet networks.

With these advanced technologies and the Purity//FA and FlashArray hardware to take advantage of it all, this is not an ordinary refresh. The sum total is a giant leap in performance efficiency.


Extreme Capacity and Energy Efficiency

We’ve shared our goal of 300TB DirectFlash Modules for our systems by 2026, and this fall, we’re taking a big step in that direction by introducing the industry’s largest TLC and QLC flash drives with built-in non-volatile RAM. Our 36TB TLC-based modules for the FlashArray//X and FlashArray//XL product lines and the 75TB QLC-based modules for the FlashArray//C, FlashArray//E™, and FlashBlade® products. Whether you’re focused on file, block, object storage, or a combination of all three, Pure Storage offers extreme capacity efficiency for all these applications.

These new DirectFlash Modules deliver up to 1.5PB per 3RU, a 106% improvement in density per rack unit, and further efficiency in both capacity and energy savings, including:

  • With 36TB TLC DFMs, FlashArray//X uses 51% less rack space and 97% fewer watts per terabyte.
  • With 75TB QLC DFMs, FlashArray//C uses 36% less rack space and 42% fewer watts per terabyte.

When looking at performance per watt, both new FlashArray R4 models will deliver 30%-40% better improvements than the previous R3 models. And when compared to competitive products, FlashArray//X R4 consumes up to 85% less energy than all-flash arrays and up to 95% less space than hybrid disk arrays.


What do these improvements mean for your data center? 

They mean consolidating racks to reduce square footage, getting more performance with less energy per RU, and massively reducing operating costs. Less space, less energy, more storage. These energy savings in a data center are more than reduced power bills. There’s a snowball effect with using more energy. You need larger generators, larger power units, and larger battery backups. You’ll also need a powerful HVAC system to handle the additional heat, including humidity control. All this higher-grade equipment is more expensive, larger, heavier, and requires costly maintenance contracts. 

That’s why the cost of data center operations increases so much for each square foot. Anytime you can reduce this, even the smallest amount, it dramatically impacts your bottom line. 


Extreme Value with Continuous Innovation

How can you take advantage of all this new performance, density, and efficiency? 

If you’re a customer with an active Evergreen//Forever™ subscription, you’re eligible for an R4 controller for your FlashArray//X or FlashArray//C when your three-year time comes. Or you can upgrade sooner with Upgrade Flex and gain all the R4 efficiency even sooner.

If you’ve never upgraded a controller, you may be surprised how non-disruptive it is. You never have to bring systems down for the upgrade, and there’s zero performance impact on business services. Your users will never know you’re doing an upgrade. That is until the new controller goes live, and application response times suddenly get snappier.

Finally, FlashArray is software-defined storage with continuous innovation through its Purity//FA operating environment. Gaining new capabilities such as NVMe/TCP for a performance boost over iSCSI or ActiveWorkload for non-disruptive workload migration is as simple as initiating a self-service upgrade in Pure1®. And there are no licensing add-ons for new capabilities. All Purity innovations are available to all customers for all FlashArray platforms at no additional cost.

Extreme Impact on Your Data Center 

We’re proud to deliver this new generation of FlashArray. With the reduced data center footprint, lower power and cooling requirements, and massive performance and scalability improvements, you can now power any workload with the most efficient storage platform in the world today. Welcome to the era of the (most efficient) all-flash data center.

Learn more about the new generation of FlashArray//X
Learn more about the new generation of FlashArray//C