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What a ride! //Accelerate 2016 may be over, but the buzz is still mounting on social channels and in the news about Pure Storage’s inaugural event. Day Two provided even more highlights for Accelerators, both on the ground at Pier 48 and around the globe via live-stream. Here’s what went down:

Up close with Flashblade.

Customers, partners, and media were eager to get hands-on with the all-new Flashblade, and that’s exactly what we gave them! Between the one-on-one engineer demonstrations at the product pavilions, where guests could actually handle the blades and inspect the dense, efficient design, and the fan favorite VR experience where visitors goggled-in to take an immersive, 3D tour of the technology, the Flashblade was turning heads in more ways than one.

“It’s disruptive,” said attendee Ken Gudrenrath about the Flashblade. “[With its] density, the size of it, and the performance, if you put high-end computing on the front of it, it’s unlimited what you can do.”

FlashBlade was also front and center in a New York Times article Monday featuring Pure’s innovative approach to data storage.

Dancing with the sharks.

While the Day One keynote wowed audiences with Pure Storage innovations like the Flashblade, the //m10 and Pure 1 predictive support, Day Two was given over to Pure’s trendsetting partners and loyal customers. Pure President David Hatfield kicked things off with a heartfelt tribute to the company’s customers, including Red Hawk Casino, LifeScript, Paylocity, Southeast Technical Institute, Symantec and Workday, who were honored as the first ever recipients of the Accelerator Awards in recognition of their loyalty as early adopters of Pure technology.

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Also taking to the stage were Pure friends and titans of tech, including Bill Schlough, CIO of the San Francisco Giants, whose IT team has been combining proprietary analytics with flash-based storage to help win three World Championships in just five years (The Giants have been recognized as one of the most innovative teams in sports, playing a pioneering role in the world of HD video, mobile content, ticketing and payment systems).

Biri Singh, CTO of Silicon Valley trailblazer Cisco, explained how technology and data are being used as a guidepost for Cisco’s overall development. Google’s own Blaire Dore presented the ambitious Loon Project, which aims to spread the vast benefits of the Information Age to developing countries by floating balloons in the stratosphere to create a network that will send a signal back down to the global Internet.

With so many inspiring stories about what’s possible in tech, it was only fitting to take a look back at the very start of Pure Storage with a special panel featuring Founders John Hayes of Pure and Mike Speiser of Sutter Hill Ventures. John Hayes had this to say about the role the unique culture at Pure has played in keeping us on top of our game: “A product is always a representation or an analog of the people who make it.” Panel host David Hatfield agreed, adding, “Transparency and trust are key.”

Finally, Shark Tank judge, entrepreneur and IT expert Robert Herjavec regaled the in-person and live-stream audiences with tales of life in the fast lane (or, in his case, the hybrid Ferrari HOV lane), the power of perseverance, and a simple quote from fellow Shark Tank star Mark Cuban: “Every day someone wakes up with the sole intention of kicking your ass.”

Thank you. Seriously.

When we first began discussing the idea of hosting our first-ever conference, we did so with the simple goal of bringing people within our industry together. Accelerate 2016 met and exceeded that goal, thanks to our talented events staff, production crew, and our beloved customers, partners and sponsors. Our Appreciation Event, which included food, fun, and a furiously amazing live performance by Panic! At the Disco, was all in thanks to those who made Accelerate 2016 successful beyond our wildest expectations. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, and mark your calendars for Accelerate 2017.

Be sure to visit our website for more Accelerate 2016 highlights, early adopter program sign-ups and details on next year’s event.

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