Since joining Pure Storage I’ve been able to work on very interesting projects but the Non-Disruptive Video Series has been one of my favorites. The goal of the Non-Disruptive video series is to showcase our upgrade and expansion simplicity along with our resiliency. For me the key point is resiliency, especially when it means upgrading a system that is running mission critical workloads.

There are three videos in the series that illustrate the following tasks:

  1. Performing a software upgrade
  2. Upgrading from a FlashArray FA-420 to new FlashArray//m20
  3. Replacing FlashArray FA-420 NVRAM modules with additional capacity
  4. Upgrading from a FlashArray//m20 to FlashArray//m50
  5. Adding mixed capacity in 5TB and 10TB drive packs to the FlashArray//m50


Each of the above tasks are performed while active workloads are running that include:

  • One OLTP SQL Server workload simulating brokerage firm trading
  • One DSS SQL Server workload servicing three different data warehouses
  • One OLTP Oracle workload
  • One Jetstress 2013 simulating 5,000 mailboxes with 1 IOPs per mailbox


The full setup includes the following components:

  • One FlashArray FA-420
  • One FlashArray//m20
  • One FlashArray//m50
  • Two Cisco MDS 9148 switches
  • 8-Node VMware ESXi cluster
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Enterprise
  • Oracle 11g
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Jetstress


The below screenshot of the Pure Storage Web Management interface illustrates the workloads running on the FlashArray FA-420 where we begin the Non-Disruptive upgrade tasks.


Without further ado, Chapter 1!