Back in 2011, a small scrappy start-up company came to VMworld in Las Vegas, armed with a very small booth, a bunch of miniature footballs, and a really remarkable demonstration of something noone had ever seen before. It was a storage array, comprised entirely of flash, that was efficient, highly available, and rivaled mechanical disk arrays in its cost per gigabyte. When people asked what the product did, they were amazed, in fact often incredulous – good thing we had a functioning demonstration they could see and touch.
This year, the tone at our booth was substantially different. Virtualization professionals now know that flash is real, and that it solves a verity of performance problems in virtualized environments. The FUD spread about flash being an unreliable media are subdued by reality and the personal experience of the users to the contrary. The debate about whether flash is a usable media for enterprise storage is over – it is now only a question of appropriate use case. The best description I can give for what happened this year was: Momentum.
What’s more, many of the visitors to our booth were not the unindoctrinated. In fact, many were already customers! From around the world, we welcomed fellow flash enthusiasts to share their experiences with the FlashArray. And, as new potential users inquired what the FlashArray could do for them, existing customers would join the conversation with enthusiasm, describing their positive experiences with our product support, our deduplication and reliability, and the FlashArray’s simplicity.
This year’s booth was an exceptional piece of work, including a lovely Pure Storage lounge-couch and a lot more space than in the first nascent year. For this year’s promotion, we decided to appeal to the incredible curiosity for the technical object of most virtualization folks. We gave away a MakerBot II Replicator, the most popular consumer 3D printers, which is an emerging technology, that, like the FlashArray, will completely disrupt their market. Here’s Alix Page, our Senior Marketing Manager, working on a 3D printed Pure logo.
In the middle of the week, as things at VMworld were winding down, we announced our pre-IPO Funding Round of $150M, our valuation exceeding $1B, and the addition of Frank Slootman to our Board of Directors. The news was received by partners, customers, analysts and press with equal approval and excitement. The news is a nod by major investors toward the flasharray category as a high growth, high potential sector. You can read more about it, and how it impacts users and the competitive landscape in Scott’s blog post.
Because that just wasn’t enough, Pure held its first annual User’s Conference, Pure EVOLVE, at the end of VMworld in the St. Regis Hotel. Our CEO, Scott Dietzen, took the opportunity to describe our vision for the future of enterprise storage with an online and onsite audience. Well over 200 attendees, customers, partners and Pure employees mingled and shared their stories about the FlashArray’s impact on their businesses.
Want to learn more about why there’s so much buzz around Pure Storage? Check out these videos from the user’s conference, or Contact Us to learn more.