Pure Storage FlashArray Review

Enables the databases to run faster and is easy to manage


What is our primary use case?

We use the private deployment model of this solution. In terms of our cloud provider, we use Azure, we are signing on with AWS, and we'll be using vCloud in the next quarter.

How has it helped my organization?

It replaced an earlier tier. It replaced 3PAR Storage and gave us faster performance than the single databases.

VMware has benefited our IT organization because we're 100% VMware, everything is running on it.

We are running VMware on Pure. Our main driver was the performance for SQL servers. The joint solution has helped my organization in the way that the databases run faster. 

My organization is taking advantage of the VM integration developed by Pure. We've deployed it. I think it gives the storage administrator some additional insights on metrics. I don't think we're using it to actually manage the data stores. He's getting more insights on metrics. Pure has a VAAI plugin that allows you to manage the data stores. We're not doing that, but I think it gives them heightened analytics in addition to SD-Pure1, a web interface. The integrations have helped in the way that they're another dashboard to have. Somebody could think that the databases are running slow and our database administrator can look at that tool and say, "No, it's unique to your SQL databases, it's not the other VMs on the data stores."

What is most valuable?

The ease of management is one of the most valuable features of this solution. I would have also said that it's pretty fast but now our SQL servers are starting to beat it up pretty bad.

What needs improvement?

A year ago they promised that they would be able to read through the database encryption with more metric and they have not delivered on that patch, which is significant because it gives us back so much more storage room. We want to be able to read through the encryption.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable. You can hit a point where you fill up enough drives in the shelves. We're at that point now where we've got to expand. We've got to add another shelf.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have switched to EMC. They gave us more array for less money. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very simple.

What about the implementation team?

We used an integrator for the deployment.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI is that we're still running. It's been two years later, and we're still up and running with no downtime.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at HP, NetApp, Pure, and EMC. EMC gave us better-performing storage for a better price. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a 7.5 out of ten. To get to a perfect ten they should be more competitive in their pricing. It's expensive. It's premiere storage but there are other premiere providers out there as well that are beating them on price, at least in our case.

The encryption is another area that needs improvement. It was huge. Right now we're at 82% on the Pure array. If they come up with that and pass to read through the more metric encryption, we would probably get 30 or 40% available disk space back, so it's huge.

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