Pure Storage FlashArray Review

A space saving solution that offers increased speed and is easy to use


What is our primary use case?

We use the solution for the vendor support. It's a banking software system. It's an IBM system and it requires some Pure Storage for the backend and SSDs for performance. The vendor supports Pure Storage. 

How has it helped my organization?

It saved a lot of space, as far as physical space in our data center. The old sand took up an entire rack and this entire system to about 6U. It's about 1/10th of the space and the power too. You get those power savings and space. The speed has also vastly improved. It's a lot faster than what we had before. We've been running VMware for over 10 years now, so we're all virtualized at this point. The solution has helped us to virtualize everything. 

Pure allows us to upgrade hardware anytime we want and not have to worry about converting everything. It makes everything easier to switch from one vendor to another if we want to. We just recently updated our sand from a Dell EMC. It allowed us to move it seamlessly without having to do anything with the software because it's all VMware.

What is most valuable?

The speed is the most valuable feature, along with the ease of getting it connected. We were able to get it online in less than a day. 

We're pretty complex. Back there, we've got three or four different systems. It's important that we have something that's easy to manage so we don't have to learn something completely new. This solution offers a GUI that you can just set up and it's ready to go. We had it up and running in three or four hours.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't had any issues with stability. The solution has run since the first day we implemented it and so far has done everything they promised.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't had to scale out yet because the solution is new to our organization, but I have heard it's pretty easy to do. Right now, we have a capacity of about 100 TB. We don't plan to scale right now. When we bought it, we sized it to allow for about two years of growth. So unless something unexpected happens, we should be okay.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

We deployed it in our VR site first. We got it set up in VR and made sure everything was working. Then we brought it into production and deployed it on the production side.

We tested it first on the VR site. We personally didn't test a unit, besides our VR site, which was about two weeks. Our vendor-approved it and they used it. We went on the advice of our vendor and got the system.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented the solution with the assistance of a vendor. 

Our experience with that vendor was good. They had everything up for us and there were no problems. Everything worked. They pre-configured it before they brought it out and then they just set it up. 

What was our ROI?

So far, I'm not sure if there is an ROI, as the solution is brand new. It's too soon to tell.

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

We have a package deal on the solution because we bought it through a software vendor, so they packaged it with their solution. I don't know what the individual costs would be for the Pure side of it.

It was a little costly. The price was ultimately higher than both of the other solutions that we evaluated. I'd say that's the only downside.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at two other solutions but we liked that Pure seemed a bit easier to use. That, and we had recommendations.

What other advice do I have?

We are using the on-premises deployment model.

VMware was one of the primary drivers when choosing Pure. One of the banking vendors that we use as a primary banking system had limited vendors that they support for storage and Pure was one of them. It was also recommended by a different credit union, which is why we went with them.

I would rate this solution eight or nine out of ten.

I would definitely recommend them. They're recommended for a reason. They're not the cheapest, but the performance is, from what I read, the best, and it's easy to manage, so it's worth the extra cost.

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