Pure Storage FlashArray Review

Ease of use means our customers don't need special training or integrators to use it


What is our primary use case?

Pure has become the main storage solution for our customers. It is mainly used for our customers' Oracle databases.

How has it helped my organization?

We are a Pure partner. What Pure has brought to us is a solution that our customers see has a lot of value. For the last ten years, there hasn't been a lot of differentiation between storage brands. We also deal with other products, other manufacturers, which are good products, but Pure is a different solution. It has allowed us to go with a different approach for our customers. When compared to different providers - I won't name them - there are other great companies out there, but Pure has managed to have a very different product with a differentiation that customers value.

Also, the guys who normally spend hours, or days, or weeks working with storage, trying to get something done, can do it in minutes with Pure. They save a lot of time, and they can do other stuff instead of managing storage.

What is most valuable?

The ease of use. That's what our customers love. They say it's very easy, they don't need special training, they don't need to call us or any other company or integrator to help them do their job. That's the main reason they purchase Pure.

Also, performance. The box gives them extreme performance, but ease of use is the main reason they love Pure.

What needs improvement?

Pure will probably have to move to other layers of the stack, not only storage but, maybe, hyperconverged. That's one thing they might have to look at because, if you are looking for storage, Pure is the player and the winner. But, if you are looking at HCI, Pure does not play in that area and that may prevent them from getting some deals.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

With the customers that we have, and the references we have read from them, the stability is great. I have only seen 100 percent. I haven't had any failures, none of my customers has had any problem with the platform. So far, it's great. 

Technology, in general, is very good now, you don't have a lot of problems. But Pure is even better.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

So far, the scalability is great. As a partner, what we want is to keep selling more and more products to our customers. One feature that Pure has is that it gives you even more storage as the company develops new functionality or does software upgrades. Even though it doesn't allow us to sell as much as we would like, our customers appreciate that. They have more capacity without investing any money. So the scalability is great.

How is customer service and technical support?

Compared with other products, Pure's technical support is as good as anyone's, probably better. They have tools where the customer can see for themselves the performance and the statistics from the solution, so support is first-class. There are some third-party companies, that evaluate the technical support of different companies, and Pure ranks number one.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very simple. As a partner, we like to have products that need a lot of service because we make more money on the service than on the hardware. But with Pure being so simple, there is not a lot of consulting that is needed. That's one of the reasons why customers would rather buy Pure than other brands. While Pure does not allow us to make a lot of money on consulting, it is a very simple and easy sell to customers.

What about the implementation team?

It's so simple that there is not much that an integrator or a partner needs to do on the Pure platform.

What was our ROI?

Pure is not a cheap product. It is not something that is inexpensive. But, the total cost of ownership tends to be lower than with other solutions, because you don't need a lot of expertise, you don't need a lot of training or very expensive engineers or very expensive consultants. I don't have the exact figures, but roughly, in a five-year span, you would save at least 20 to 25 percent, especially on labor, on specialized people and training.

As to whether the TCO of flash is lower than SSD implementations, I don't have any specific metrics, but again, the implementation of Pure is, by far, simpler than other technologies. I wouldn't say we have lower implementation costs because of flash or because of SSDs, rather it's because of the software and technology of Pure.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Normally, when we go to compete for a customer, they are looking at all the most important brands. Dell EMC is part of most storage bids. There is NetApp and sometimes we face IBM. In our territory there is Hitachi, which is a great product, but usually it's not on the shortlist. Finally there is HPE. Those are the brands that we normally find we're competing with when we offer Pure.

In the end, so far, haven't lost one deal where we involved Pure. We have won deals against NetApp, which is a great product, we have won deals against Dell EMC - and that is the brand to beat. But when customers compare Dell EMC with Pure, there is no competition. Pure is, by far, better.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is to buy Pure. I am very excited about this product. I would recommend that anybody who is looking at storage should really look at and consider Pure, and they will probably buy Pure.

The performance is great. In terms of latency, you can have failures in the system, and the system can keep performing as if nothing happened. It is a great product with great performance. For me, right now, it is the best storage solution in the market, by far.

I would rate Pure a ten out of ten and even 11. I have been in the business for 31 years. In the technology sector, most products are the same, they offer the same functionalities. Maybe 30 years ago, when EMC came out with their storage solution, it was something very different, but in the end, everybody offers the same thing. If you look at a Dell EMC box, or you look at HPE, or you look at Hitachi, they offer a SAN with certain performance, they have replication, they have Snapshots. Everybody has more or less the same thing. Pure has a different offer, because of the simplicity, the performance, and all the functionality that Pure is offering. It's a very simple package, it's what makes Pure different. That's why most customers choose Pure.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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