Pure Storage FlashArray Review

All updates, upgrades, and hardware work are performed online with no impact


How has it helped my organization?

It has allowed us increased performance along with massive consolidation of space and power. We went from a two cabinet EMC VMAX to a 12U racked system. Very impressive.

Compared to Pure Storage, the IBM V7000 has not improved anything yet within our environment.

What is most valuable?

The Pure Storage system is, of course, very fast and completely redundant. All updates, upgrades, and hardware work are performed online with no impact. The Pure Storage customer service is by far the best part of the product and organization.

What needs improvement?

We have found that the NAS portion of the software has limitations. For example, the number of Filesystems is limited, which is not the case on the EMC VNX. 

The service team assigned to the project has good, hard-working people, but we are not receiving the kind of care we should receive to get the project done.

As for IBM, they could increase the maximum storage capacity so more disk shelves can be added.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no issues with the stability of the Pure Storage solution. By contrast, with IBM we have had performance and spiking issues for which IBM applied a workaround patch.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There have been no issues with the scalability for either Pure or IBM.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

10/10 for Pure Storage.

6/10 for IBM.

Technical Support:

Pure Storage is excellent, while IBM is only average.

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

The IBM V7000 was bought for just NAS and secondary storage and for use as storage for our AS/400 platform. We switched to Pure Storage because of the way the system performs and the fact that it does everything in 32K sizing. The IOPS are high and the support and customer service are exceptional.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up the Pure Storage solutions was simple. It took 45 minutes to rack it and get it online. The IBM system was also fairly simple, taking about two hours to rack and get online.

What about the implementation team?

Both devices were installed through one of our partners who did a good job.

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

We feel that the pricing is fair and the licensing process was easy for both.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated EMC (which we already had), Dell, and HP.

What other advice do I have?

The Pure Storage FlashArray is very good. Everything that Pure Storage told me is exactly what we have found to be true. It is the best production and implementation experience I have ever had.

Regarding IBM, the sales team was great, as was the technical team. I now feel that EMC VNX and NetApp are both better NAS systems. If I had to do it over again, I would stay with the EMC VNX for NAS.

We have not had a good experience with the IBM device. The installation and service were very good. However, the services to help us migrate our NAS data from an existing EMC VNX system have failed once already due to ACL permissions issues, specifically on how the V7000 NAS works. I have had to involved IBM Global Support by actually contacting high-level VPs. As of January 26, 2016, we have not successfully migrated our NAS data.

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