Drum roll, please! Today, we released Purity//FA 6.4.0 with the latest data services for our FlashArray™ customers, including new workload mobility capabilities and enhanced security and ransomware protections. What’s more, we’re not just announcing a new release but also a new way we’re approaching and communicating Purity//FA releases.

Today, many Pure users want access to the latest features as soon as possible, not wanting to wait for the next “big release.” Many other users also have needs, such as compliance and regulations, that require environments with slower change management and stringent industry certifications. The question is: How do you meet both very important needs?

With Purity//FA 6.4, we’ll begin offering two release lines: continuous Feature Releases and stability-oriented Long Life Releases. These concurrent release lines are designed to meet the needs of both agile customers who want to upgrade to the latest and greatest as soon as it’s available and enterprise customers who require more stable environments with industry certifications.

  • Feature Releases will be even-dot-numbered releases, such as Purity 6.4, with new capabilities delivered monthly or bi-monthly. Feature Releases represent a continuously evolving feature line—even across major releases. For example, an upgrade from 6.4.last to 6.6.0 will be as straightforward as an upgrade from 6.4.2 to 6.4.3. Feature Releases will let you take advantage of new features more quickly. And don’t forget that since Purity//FA 6.3 GA, you can do a self-service upgrade on your schedule through Pure1®.
  • Long Life Releases will be odd-dot-numbered releases starting in Purity 6.5. These stability releases will follow immediately after the preceding even-dot-numbered releases and continue for a longer period of time (up to three years). We’ll focus efforts such as industry certification on Long Life Releases to support enterprise compliance needs. New capabilities will not be added to a Long Life Release after its initial launch; the focus will be on enterprise readiness and stability refinements.
Figure 1: New concurrent release model uses even-dot-numbers for new feature releases and odd-dot-numbers for longer life, stability-oriented releases

After a Feature Release (such as Purity//FA 6.4) is complete, two new release lines will begin simultaneously: a Purity//FA 6.5 Long Life Release and a Purity//FA 6.6 Feature Release. Newly developed capabilities after that point will go into the Purity//FA 6.6 Feature Release only.

This agile release model stands in sharp contrast to most legacy storage competitors, who release infrequent, monolithic software updates and require scheduling time with support teams to perform the upgrade. FlashArray customers running Purity//FA 6.3 can upgrade Purity on their own schedule through Pure1 and get the latest innovations immediately.

What You’ll Get When You Upgrade to Purity//FA 6.4.0

With all that background out of the way, let’s dive into the hot new capabilities you’ll get when you upgrade to Purity//FA 6.4.0.

ActiveWorkload for Moving Workloads Effortlessly

Change is consistent in any environment. When you think you’ve got all your workloads settled on your fleet of FlashArray devices, it’s time to reshuffle them again. Maybe you’re adding a new array, or maybe you’re consolidating to eliminate silos finally. With most enterprise storage, this isn’t quick or easy, and requires taking business services offline.

The good news is that ActiveWorkload makes moving workloads across your fleet of FlashArray devices straightforward, efficient, and non-disruptive. It’s built on the same proven stretch clustering technology we’ve used with our popular ActiveCluster™ business continuity solution, so you know it’s rock-solid and straightforward. 

With ActiveWorkload, you can now connect up to five FlashArray devices to mobilize workloads on a fleet-wide basis. No need to connect and disconnect arrays whenever you need to move a workload. ActiveWorkload makes moving workloads fast, easy, and transparent, so your users are completely unaware of the switchover.

To learn more, read the ActiveWorkload blog.

Foolproof SafeMode Protections and Security Interoperability

Like cybercriminals who never stop honing their skills, we haven’t stopped refining our security arsenal. With Purity 6.4.0, we’ve extended our Auto-on protections for snapshots, replication, and SafeMode™, our ransomware solution.

Every new FlashArray device will be set up with a preconfigured protection group with a snapshot policy automatically installed and SafeMode automatically enabled. Our new snapshot schedule will create a snapshot on the source FlashArray every six hours and then retain all snapshots on that source for three days. After that, it will retain one daily snapshot for five more days. This policy balances improving the recovery point objective (RPO) provided through more frequent snapshotting against conserving storage capacity.

In addition, SafeMode, which prevents snapshots from being manually eradicated—even by users with admin privileges—will be automatically enabled now with a retention lock. The retention lock is ratcheted so that only changes that make protections stronger are allowed. And the preconfigured protection group is automatically assigned to all newly created volumes on the FlashArray. All of this protection is by default, so you don’t have to remember to set it.

With Purity//FA 6.4.0, we’ve also enhanced our interoperability to fit into our customers’ broad range of security ecosystems. Our identity provider (IdP) support now includes yet another industry-leading vendor: Ping Identity. This gives you more IdP options for user authentication and single sign-on, so your users can securely access applications from any device. 

In addition, we’re now supporting CipherTrust KMIP key management, making it easier to centrally manage encryption keys if you’re using the Thales CipherTrust Data Security Platform. And if you’re using the recently end-of-lifed Vormetric DSM, this support can help you transition to the CipherTrust KMIP platform. 

To see how you can stay protected from ransomware, watch the latest SafeMode demo.

Non-disruptive Upgrades to FlashArray//XL 

For those with FlashArray//X devices in your fleet that have high utilization or are bumping up to their capacity limits, now is the time to consider upgrading to a more powerful FlashArray//XL. No forklift is required or even downtime. You can simply deploy your new FlashArray//XL and follow seven easy steps to non-disruptively upgrade your FlashArray//X to a FlashArray//XL. 

Learn how in our Non-disruptive upgrade to FlashArray//XL blog post. 

To get this and more in Purity//FA 6.4.0, simply upgrade your FlashArray fleet on your schedule, now available through the self-service upgrade capability in Pure1.