Pure Storage FlashArray Review

We no longer have to worry about managing volumes, capacity, or replication


What is our primary use case?

All of our production, development, and workloads run on it.

How has it helped my organization?

We were previously a legacy storage system. After moving to Pure, the stability and performance both dramatically improved. 

We don't have to worry about storage anymore. Previously, we had to babysit our storage system, doing things like managing the volumes, looking at the capacity, predicting when would we run out of space, and replication work. All of those created a lot of challenges with the previous system. Since moving to Pure, we no longer have to worry. We defined the policies once, and things mostly work.

Pure Storage simplifies the management, overall.

What is most valuable?

Flash is the most valuable feature.

Scalability is one of the best features. You can quickly add more. You can swap out the drives with larger sizes, you can add more shelves. All of that is perfect - the whole concept of keeping it modular, where you can keep replacing components. That was definitely new several years ago. I would bet competitors are doing it now as well, but when they started, it was an innovation.

What needs improvement?

The real need that we have is around other backups. Obviously, it has its own snapshot concept but beyond that, having a separate backup system in the Pure ecosystem itself, in that space, would make it all integrated within a single organization and we wouldn't have to deal with multiple companies. That's an area where we thought Flash Blade could serve our needs, but it seems it can't.

Also, for one of our systems, the data reduction that we had initially anticipated when we bought Pure and we moved over is way lower than the expected reduction. It depends on the workloads, of course. But that has been a challenge at times. Because of that, we now need more storage. We are going to have to use the guaranty that they provide when you purchase: If it doesn't meet the overall capacity needs, then they will provide extra storage.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability, in general, has been perfect. 

The reason I gave a nine, not a ten, is the upgrades. With most upgrades we have had some kind of problem. They haven't been as smooth as they should have been.

The latest problem with which we are currently dealing, literally today, is that after the latest upgrade, the utilization went up, especially because of the systems space, which is consuming much more than it should. The duplication is not happening on time. Pure acts like it is a bug and that they have a new version with a fix for it. It goes into a cycle often: You keep upgrading and that new upgrade may have some other problem.

That's the primary worry regarding stability. Otherwise, the system works.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good, but not as good as we would like. We have to get our Pure account team involved often, and they are stars. That always solves the problem. Support is available 24/7, but sometimes they're not as detail-oriented as we would like in investigating problems.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty straightforward. We recently added two more areas to our ecosystem and the set up was pretty good.

What about the implementation team?

We used a reseller, SHI. Our experience with them was good.

What was our ROI?

Pure is expensive. But it comes with features so you get what you pay for. It's expensive compared to our old storage systems, but that is balanced by the reduction in the amount of effort human effort involved in& babysitting the storage system. So if you factor in everything, I don't know if the TCO is reduced, but it's not a concern for us, at least.

What other advice do I have?

You get what you pay for. It is expensive, but it really works. So I would really recommend using Pure Storage.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
1 visitor found this review helpful
1 Comment
author avatarErik Baumgartner
Vendor

Rujuswami, solid review! It's good to hear somebody at least talk about TCO over the life of an investment and when you mention how your upfront CAPEX expense is "balanced by the reduction in the amount of effort human effort involved in babysitting the storage system" it must be nice to experience that reality and more enjoyable work environment. You mentioned Pure being expensive and that you have been a customer for 3-5 years. I'd love to hear your feedback added to this review if you've kept track of other components of TCO. The first one I'd be curious about that you don't mention is energy costs of the Pure system vs your old legacy infrastructure. The second would be your experience with "forklift upgrades" during that 3rd/4th year that is almost inevitable with legacy storage vendors and how that high cost factors into the overall TCO and ownership costs. The third would be having all Purity software and features included from day one AND IN THE FUTURE. So any features that come out you will have for nothing. I'd be curious how that stacks up to your experience of buying SW features over the life of legacy systems and adding that to overall cost (SW purchase + add'l maintenance) over the years. Who knows what cool SW features will come out in the storage industry 5 years from now, right? With Pure you'll own it, with others you'll have to buy it. Pure is intended to last forever in your environment with non-disruptive upgrades, no forklift upgrades, no migrations, all with flat & fair maintenance for life and all SW included for life. So 10+ years from initial investment the system only gets better with the Evergreen model both technically and financially, stays modern to fit your needs as you grow, and TCO gets better and better. So I'd love your thoughts there to challenge your comment about Pure being expensive when considering both CAPEX and OPEX. Thanks again!

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