Pure FlashArray//X NVMe Review

Enables us to consolidate as much of the physical hardware as possible within our data center


What is our primary use case?

We use this solution on private cloud for all our Oracle workloads and databases, and also for our enterprise virtualization infrastructure running BMR.

The main reason why we run our VMware on Pure was because it went hand in hand with the ease of use, configuration, compatibility, and the support. It was a recognized solution very early on and Pure Storage and VMware have a great partnership. It offers support for compatibility drivers and things like that.

We also use some of the integration tools from Pure Storage to help us manage some of the day-to-day tasks that we do with our storage and configuration and also to help keep things running optimally. One of the things we're using is the management pack from Pure Storage for vROps, so that we can continuously monitor the entire environment as well as our Pure Storage. With that we are more proactive about being able to make adjustments to meet the demands of our users. We use that to automate some of our storage augmentations when we need extra volume.

How has it helped my organization?

The moment we started using Pure FlashArray//X NVMe, we immediately saw a 30 to 40% improvement in performance. In addition to that, we saw a highly dense configuration where we were able to eliminate costly spindle-based storage and free up valuable real estate in our data center. That was immediately recognized.

VMware is really beneficial for our IT board. It benefits our IT organization by enabling us to consolidate as much of the physical hardware as possible within our data center. Essentially we can shrink the footprint to make more efficiency gains out of our existing data center.

What is most valuable?

What I really like about this program is that it is easy to use and easy to configure. I  am also very happy with their support. It's the first storage company that we've actually engaged with and formed a partnership that does what they say they're going to do and they meet all of the requirements given.

What needs improvement?

Every time I think of something that needs to improve, they're one step ahead, which I love. The only area I wish to see improve, I believe is coming, is in the FlashBlade product. Blade implementation fell short on a few of the services. 

Pure is an innovator. They're a disruptor in the industry and I love that. That means that they're motivated and dedicated to being at the forefront of technology. So the only thing I can say is that I wish that Pure would keep up the good work and it looks like they are. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for four years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've been a customer for about four years and as far as the stability goes, we have not had any issues with the product. Again, it has met the described functions that we need. When our vendor told us what Pure Storage does, we weren't certain of that because many vendors make empty promises. But Pure Storage was the first company that delivered what they promised. 

As far as stability goes, we have yet to have an outage. We have had failed components, but we've had top-notch support, and we've been able to resolve critical issues within hours. So if I had to rate the stability with Pure Storage products and our environment from one to 10, I'd give them a 9.7.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For our environment, we have seen the ability to scale up and out very easily with the product. We have also performed storage and controller upgrades live with zero downtime. That is another key component of our requirements that were met. I have been involved with every upgrade and there have been no issues. Scalability for us has been great. It works well and it does what it's supposed to do, as advertised.

How are customer service and technical support?

What I like about Pure Storage technical support is that when you enter a request, you immediately get a response. Within less than 15 minutes you get a follow-up phone call, depending upon the severity of troubles you're encountering. That has been very good for us. And again, if I had to rate that on a scale of one to 10 I would say that's about a 9.5. That too is another thing in the industry that we haven't experienced before.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

We were running on very old hardware that was all spindle-based sand solutions. Large-sized equipment with too much power consumption. We looked at other solutions like Kaminario, Nimble, Nimbus, 3PAR, and Tintri, but choosing Pure Storage was a no-brainer. We saw the solution, we were skeptical upfront, but when we did our research, it was very quickly recognized that Pure Storage was the right solution. We were able to save a ton of data center space with density ratios we've never seen before with hardware. 

With Pure, we immediately saw value in the density ratios that we would be able to achieve. We saw value in the performance, in the scalability, and with the support. In the past, we've had trouble with support with all the other major vendors. So that was something that we took a risk on. Thankfully we did because it worked out.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of any storage solution is complex. However, what Pure Storage has been able to do, is remove those complexities. When you receive the product, you will get detailed information on what to do. It really does eliminate the complexities. In other words, our experience has been very positive with the product out of the box. We did not need dedicated support engineers, we were able to figure these things out on our own, and we did it based on their documentation. If I had to rate that on a scale of one to 10 I would say that it's about a 9.5 as well.

What was our ROI?

One of the interesting things about ROI is that most companies assume ROI without quantifying it, which has one of the beauties of where I work, we were able to quantify an ROI. We looked at historical data from our previous spindle-based solutions and year after year we looked at those costs, the performance, everything down to the movement of water that it takes to cool this equipment. So with Pure Storage, we did a comparison in the same manner, and we saw a dramatic improvement in precious real estate space. If you had to put a dollar value on it, we'd saved a lot there. Don't expect ROI within the first year. Give it about two years and then you will start seeing a difference. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

As far as the licensing costs, everything is included in the license. That's something that our other competitors don't seem to do very well with as they usually have additional costs. 

What other advice do I have?

On a scale of one to 10 Pure Storage has rightfully earned a 10 rating. We are very proud to be a customer and I hope the developers will continue to innovate and keep up the good work.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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