Pure Storage FlashArray Review

We can quickly add more shelves and drives with larger sizes


What is our primary use case?

All of our production and development workloads run on Pure Storage.

How has it helped my organization?

It simplifies the overall management. We don't have to worry about storage anymore. The solution mostly works. We used to have to babysit our previous storage system, such as managing the volumes and looking at the capacity to predict when we would we eventually run out of space. All of these things used to be challenges with our previous system. After moving to Pure Storage, we don't have to worry about them too much. We have defined our policies once, then things mostly work.

What needs improvement?

Most of our upgrades have not been as smooth as they should have been. The latest problem, which we are currently dealing with as of today, is after the latest upgrade, utilization ran out because of the system's space. It is consuming more than it should. The deduplication and compression are not happening in time. The quality is always behind, and Pure Storage acts like it is a bug, and they have a new version that has a fix for it. So, it often goes into a cycle. Then, you keep upgrading, then the new upgrade may have some other problem.

FlashArray is more geared towards bigger, organic workloads where our real need has been around other backups. While it has its own snapshot concept, it should have a separate backup system similar to what Commvault provides. Having something native in the Pure Storage ecosystem would make it integrated and in one single company, and we wouldn't have to work with multiple organizations. This is an area that we have already discussed with our account team.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In general, the stability has been perfect. The primary worry for stability is upgrades. The system works unless you touch it, then there are a ton of upgrades.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We can quickly add more shelves and drives with larger sizes, which is perfect. The whole concept of keeping it all modular is definitely new.

How is customer service and technical support?

While the technical support is good, they are not as good as we would like them to be. We often have to get our account team involved, who are stars. This always solves the problem. Support is available 24/7, but sometimes not as detail-oriented in investigating problems. E.g., we get our Account Team involved to manage the engineers involved and figure out what the problem was. Support is not perfect.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We were previously on legacy storage systems. After moving to Pure Storage, our stability and performance both drastically improved.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is straightforward. We recently added two more areas to our ecosystem, and the setup was phenomenal.

What about the implementation team?

We used a reseller for the deployment named SHI, and our experience with them was good.

What was our ROI?

For one of our systems, the data reduction which was initially anticipated when we bought the FlashArray was lower than that expected production when we moved over.

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

Pure Storage is expensive. It comes with features, so you get what you pay for. It is expensive compared to our old storage systems, but from the amount of human effort that you have to pay to babysit a storage system, it reduces that. I don't know if the TCO is reduced, but it's not a concern for us.

The guaranty that Pure Storage provides when you purchase it doesn't meet the overall capacity needs to provide extra storage, if needed. Thus, it is not meeting our expectations.

What other advice do I have?

You get what you pay for; it is expensive, but it works. Therefore, I would recommend using Pure Storage.

I don't use the predictive performance analytics too much.

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