Pure Storage FlashArray Review

An easy user interface that has helped us be able to manage our data better


What is our primary use case?

We have all-flash for our SQL environment.

How has it helped my organization?

The product added speed to our SQL environment, so we receive a bit better compression. It did give us a little more space when I moved my SQL environment off the competitor onto Pure Storage. Therefore, I obtained a bit of space and saw an increase in performance.

They have really good baked in analytics to show you trends for growth history, so it does help with future planning for data growth.

What is most valuable?

I like the five-year controller upgrade, easy-to-use interface, and performance.

They do a good job at ease of use for the interface. I don't have a big team, so its easy user interface has helped us be able to manage our data better.

What needs improvement?

I would love to see a true one click upgrade solution. Right now, you have to click and schedule an appointment with Pure Storage to be able to upgrade. I would love for it to automatically download, install, and fall-over every controller as it updates.

For how long have I used the solution?

The product has been in my environment for over a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product has not gone down in a year. So, I would say that it is stable. We haven't seen any high spikes in read/write latency.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability seems pretty simplistic. You just buy more drives and slap them in the box, then tack it onto your current storage pool. It seems like it would be pretty easy to scale out.

However, I don't know about scaling up. I don't think they do extra data shelves, so you would have to buy a whole new unit.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have only used the technical support for upgrades. They respond very quickly and are efficient at what they do.

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

A local VAR was talking about our challenges and some different solutions to take care of it. Pure just seemed like it could fit the bill.

We have Tegile and HPE 3PAR in our environment.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. We were about to get the installation done within two hours.

We have done a firmware upgrade for the OS. We clicked the button to place the call in with support. They remote in with a time that we agreed upon to upgrade the solution. We have never had any problems with it.

What about the implementation team?

We used the reseller for deployment, who came in and worked with our storage guy to deploy the solution. The reseller company was Sirius Computer Solutions. My local rep and his engineer were the ones who came in to install it, and it was a perfect experience. They are whom we have always bought storage through. We have never had any problems with them.

What was our ROI?

We watch latency, then our I/Os. We care about how much we're pushing through the box, then what latency the box for read/writes is hitting. I have seen a decrease in read/write latency since moving to Pure Storage by seven milliseconds.

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

Our licensing is on a yearly basis. So, every year, we renew. We could do a three-year contract, but right now, we only do a one-year.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked into a couple other vendors. I am currently still using one of the vendor. Then, with Pure, we looked into some solutions from Dell EMC or HPE. Pure seemed to be a bit more cost-efficient. It also had better reviews from what we could find online and with references.

Because they do the compression and dedupe on the backside, I have seen better numbers of the Pure Storage box than on the other competitors that I have in my environment.

What other advice do I have?

Ensure you are looking at all aspects of what the device can do, what your company needs are, and try to see how Pure Storage can meet all of your company's current needs.

We have Pure Storage integrated with our vCenter. The integration was very simple and gives us a lot better insight into our virtual environment.

Pure Storage hasn't increased nor decrease our ability to manage storage, because the solution that we are moving from had a very easy to use interface too.

I don't really use the predictive performance analytics.

Biggest lesson learned: Longevity planning. Pure Storage, with their five-year upgrade for controllers, has helped me feel comfortable. Even as the company grows, I will still have a storage solution which will fit the environment.

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