Pure Storage FlashArray Review

Easy to implement and TCO of flash is lower than SSD implementations


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is for Rack Database Storage and Virtualized Server Storage.

How has it helped my organization?

I used to have to manually sync storage from server to server, for multiple clusters and database storage for disaster recovery but now, that's all automated. I set it up once, and it was done on the very first day we implemented bolts. Storage arrays were set up on the very same day and by that afternoon all of the replication was configured and I haven't had to touch it since.

Has also helped simplify storage for us. It had taken the original person we used a full week to implement. With this solution, we had both arrays set up within around four hours with a thirty minute drive time between the two locations.

We have seen TCO of flash be lower than SSD implementations. We're faster which is part of the equation too. We're paying for speed and if we would have had to buy other solutions, then that would have cost us on the morale side and on the user satisfaction side.

Another way that it has helped my organization is that now we are seeing 3.6 to 1 on Oracle Databases. Our goal was 3, we had to have 3, so we got 3.6 to 1.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features for us would be the ease of implementation and box-to-box replication.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see box-to-box encryption on replication included in the next release. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had zero drive failures and zero problems with it. We've had it in place for about a year and a half and have had zero complaints, other than that box-to-box replication is not encrypted.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability appears to be easy but we haven't had to use it. 

How is customer service and technical support?

We had to open a ticket with their technical support. We needed to get NIST certified and we had some of our storage on that PRA and we had to be done at the end of the year 2017 so we were in constant contact with support to ensure that we were going to meet all the requirements. In the end, we did hit that date.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We knew that we needed to switch solutions because we were using very old Dell EMC hardware. It was painful, we had weekly drive failures. Every single week one of the key drives failed. It was old, it was out of support, we were losing support, we were paying for extended support, we knew that we had to have this solution. It was all spinning discs, there were a couple SSDs on there but for the most part, it was all spinning discs. We saw some major improvements.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. The other guy we used took a week to set up and there are still issues. Here we had two arrays set up within four hours with a thirty minute drive time.

What about the implementation team?

We used a reseller called Sirius for the implementation. They were good, we didn't have any complaints. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Hitachi which we did put in place for some of our dev environments. We also spoke to IBM. We used to use Texas Memory Systems which was bought out by IBM and we reached out to them to see if there was an equivalent and there wasn't. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a ten. 

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