On  Wednesday June 29th, Gartner issued a research report titled “There Has Never Been a Better Time to Buy a Storage Array.”  We believe the central point is that innovators like Pure are transforming the economics of storage acquisition and ownership, and customers everywhere stand to gain – dramatically. How? Through more competitive pricing to be sure, but also with next-generation ownership experiences, such as Pure’s unique Evergreen™ Storage model, that bring a cloud-like and highly agile feel to on-premises storage.

The report is an informative read and really encouraging for storage buyers out there. Simply put, this is a buyer’s market. Non-incumbents like Pure with purpose-built, next-generation all-flash storage solutions are giving customers a really attractive alternative to incumbent retro-fit solutions. And that puts incumbents on the defensive, forced to reduce pricing. The result is a no-lose situation from the customer perspective. You’ll either get a much better deal than you were expecting on a retrofit all-flash array from a vendor you know, or you’ll get a purpose-built all-flash array from an innovation leader, but with a radically better experience, and likely at a similar acquisition price point (and better TCO!).

Given this new dynamic, in the report Gartner offers the following recommendation “Invite three or more vendors to bid for their business to obtain the best possible pricing, with at least two of bids coming from non-incumbent vendors.” We couldn’t agree more with this approach as we feel the differences between the old and the new are truly striking and those differences translate into tremendous value that is worth exploring. We also hope you’ll include us in your evaluation, as we’ve seen incumbents drop their prices by over 50% when Pure Storage is invited to bid. Imagine purpose-built all-flash storage that is easy, cloud-like, efficient, rock-solid, fast (of course – it’s flash!), yet also affordable. We think that sounds a lot better than the storage status quo, whether a hybrid or a retrofit all-flash array.

The Technology Is the Difference

To help illustrate the difference between the “easy, cloud-like” nature of Pure’s Evergreen Storage model as compared to other approaches (all-flash or not), it is worth looking at an analogy most of us are familiar with: owning our smartphone. We could use pretty much any consumer tech gadget here but I think our smartphones have become pretty indispensable to many of us. You might even say “business critical” – just like your storage.

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First up – your typical smartphone example. After a few years of using your phone you want (or need) the next generation. You take time out of your busy day to head to the phone store, and you’re talking away on your phone, maybe even browsing the web at the same time, and then – you have to hang up and hand over your phone. In storage terms, what just happened was downtime and a maintenance window (which is often painful to accommodate let alone schedule in our busy lives – just like the data center). The nice phone store person helps migrate data and settings to a new phone. And some of your data is cloud synced in the background which certainly helps. In storage terms, you just went through a data migration – and sometimes things don’t transfer properly. That’s frustrating. Of course, you also need to purchase that new phone and you’ll pay full price for it regardless whether that price is paid up front (CAPEX) or smoothed out over time (OPEX subscription or lease). In storage terms you just went through a “forklift upgrade” with your phone, and you’ll have to suffer through it with each upgrade cycle.

Now let’s look at how the Evergreen Storage model changes things.

Once again, after a few years you are ready for your next-gen smartphone. You’re in the middle of a critically important phone call in the middle of a busy workday, when all of a sudden your phone morphs in front of your eyes (and ears). The screen gets larger and higher resolution. The camera adds megapixels. The CPU gets faster and consumes less power. And the battery gets longer lasting. A near-field compute (NFC) radio is added for wireless payments and other uses. Your phone is now fully next generation, and the whole time you are still talking and working away, non-stop. Your phone just modernized without any disruption let alone a painful trip to the phone store. And to top it off, you also only paid for the incremental additions to your phone. In other words, you didn’t need to rebuy all of the perfectly good screen, CPU transistors etc. you already had. It’s your phone, only better. And it just keeps getting better as the phone industry innovates.

Storage that Just Works. And Keeps Getting Better.

This is the effortless, cloud-like experience we have been delivering for years at Pure Storage. This experience is fundamentally possible because of a unique technology architecture that is purpose-built to stay modern, non-disruptively, even across generations. Pure Storage customers have already crossed generations multiple times: from our external controller–based design to our chassis-based FlashArray//m; to leverage 3D NAND; and (in the future) to leverage NVMe – all without disruption. Want to see a generational upgrade in action? Watch this video. Simply wrapping a subscription model or “free” upgrades around alternative approaches can’t deliver this experience – it is about the technology first, and our business model then builds on this foundation to complete the picture.

Evergreen Storage is here, and we think the experience will completely reset your expectations for technology of any type, whether in your data center or in your pocket. It sounds far-fetched, we know, which is why we’d be thrilled to connect you with customers who have seen Evergreen Storage in action. Give us a call!