Being close to our customers and focusing on solving their strategic IT challenges has been a key tenet for Pure Storage since day one.   

When we talk to front-line IT staff and business leaders, they’ve been consistent with their commentary: 

  • “How can you help us meet our data and application growth?”  
  • “How can we end the painful data migration and related storage upgrade cycle?” 
  • “What we need is more IT agility, allowing us to respond faster and focus resources on higher-value strategic IT initiatives”

Legacy Storage Upgrade Cycle

Future-ready Storage Solutions

Legacy Storage Is the Opposite of IT Agility

Anyone who has deployed legacy storage knows the pain of this cycle well—it’s complex, wasteful, and time-consuming. Complete overhauls of the storage infrastructurethe dreaded “forklift upgrade”are required every few years to meet the growth of data and applications. This is due to the limited, rigid architecture legacy storage uses, which was never designed for upgradability—especially between storage generations. With traditional storage architectures, this painful cycle will repeat itself again and again. 

It’s the antithesis of the IT agility that organizations are actually looking for.

Guaranteed to Eliminate Data Migrations, Forever

With our recent No Data Migration Guarantee/SLA announcement, customers can say goodbye to disruptive data migrations with 100% non-disruptive upgrades that keep data in place and with zero impact to critical workloads. Once a customer is on the unique Pure Storage® Evergreen® architecturethe foundation of our FlashArray™ and FlashBlade® future-ready storage solutionswe guarantee an end to all data migrations. Customers can take advantage of this new No Data Migration Guarantee/SLA announcement on all three of our subscription offeringsEvergreen//One™, Evergreen//Flex™, and Evergreen//Forever™.

Evergreen Architecture: Non-disruptive to the Core

At the foundation of this new SLA offering is Pure Storage Evergreen architecture. We designed future-ready storage solutions to solve the challenges customers face during the traditional storage life cycle, breaking it once and for all. 

Pure Storage does this with a modular, software-driven, stateless architecture that was built—from the very start—to be upgraded non-disruptively. It’s engineered to never be taken offline when expanding capacity or upgrading software or hardware. With this approach, our future-ready storage solutions can seamlessly meet your business and IT requirements over time, no matter how fast your data needs may change. 

This Evergreen architecture is common across our entire product line, including every Pure Storage FlashArray model (FlashArray//X™, FlashArray//C™, and FlashArray//XL™) and FlashBlade//S™.

These upgrade capabilities include:

  • Upgradeable controllers, blades, and even chassis that deliver the performance needed to meet modern workloads and applications, with zero impact to operations. 
  • Cross-generational flash compatibility, where different flash geometries and generations can be mixed within an array, and newer controllers work seamlessly with existing flash modules. (Competitors take note: If flash storage needs to be replaced when upgrading controllers, how is that different from a forklift upgrade?)
  • The ability to utilize new software functionality and features with previously deployed storage, without the need to upgrade hardware.

Non-disruptive upgrades are NOT a new phenomenon for Pure Storage

This approach has been customer-proven across nine hardware generations, for well over 10 years, and well over 10,000 controller upgrades. For over a decade, Pure Storage customers have successfully embraced our Evergreen architecture, enabling them to keep their storage modern and performing without rebuys or disruption. In fact, over 97% of all Pure Storage arrays ever sold are still in service today because it’s so simple to keep them forever modern and performing like new arrays.

We innovate and invest in R&D at levels two to three times that of legacy storage vendors. A lot of that innovation has been focused on making storage not only simpler for our customers to use but also far denser, the most energy efficient, and always upgradable without disruption. That means our storage is also much less expensive to own and run (and keep modern) than either all-flash or hard-disk legacy storage. 

And this focus is especially true for storage upgrades. We continue to do the hard work—engineering, development, and testing—to ensure that all our upgrades are truly 100% non-disruptive. 

You can even say it’s in our DNA.

Customer Story: Multi-generational Storage Upgrade for Critical Patient Care Data

For a major U.S. healthcare organization, we recently non-disruptively upgraded from their existing Pure Storage FlashArray//X storage array to the new FlashArray//XL and are planning to do the same for their production arrays supporting their Epic electronic medical records (EMR) infrastructure. We moved the organization from one entirely different storage generation (and chassis) to another, without planned downtime, without impact to workloads and application availability, and without migrating their data. 

This is the most comprehensive multi-generational upgrade we’ve ever done, changing everything out with zero disruption. 

As impressive as it might be to achieve this milestone once, this is the third cross-generational, new-chassis upgrade out of the nine FlashArray hardware generations we’ve delivered to our customers over the last 10+ years. While Pure Storage customers have rightly come to expect this kind of upgrade from us, it’s unique in the storage industry. Major generational FlashArray upgrades have included:

  • In 2013, upgrading from our original FlashArray FA300 to the FA400, including swapping the controller chassis.
  • In 2015, moving from the FA400 to the NVMe-ready FlashArray//M, which once again changed the controller chassis (which was pre-plumbed to work with NVMe).
  • In 2018, upgrading from FlashArray//M to the all-NVMe FlashArray//X, which was achieved by just swapping the controllers (since we’d already delivered the NVMe chassis with the //M generation).

This is IT agility delivered by Pure Storage.

Read more in this IDC white paper: “Architectural Design Decisions Directly Impact IT Agility for Pure Storage FlashArray and FlashBlade Users.”