Pure Storage FlashArray Review

Great for desktop virtualization, with an easy setup and excellent stability


What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for desktop virtualization.

I have IOPS and IOPS input/output. The reason that we have virtualization required for the media is because of high IOPS and we're able to maintain it with PR. The encryption is pretty high. We like the encryption right on the storage.

How has it helped my organization?

I was able to put up more VMs using Pure. I'm running almost 3,400 VMs and VDIs on Pure Storage. This improves our organization because we can just set it up and we forget about it. Everything works. We do not need to worry about storage or bandwidth issues. Its ease of use is also helpful. The setup is very easy with Pure.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to see a move towards individual VMs for what the performance of each VM is in a VD infrastructure. I can see the overall volume, but I would love to see things in a more granular level on the VM side. I'd like to say "Hey, this particular VDI, what is the performance on that? How much IO is it using, what are the issues, what is CPU?" etc. I'd like to see that layout in the portal. That would be great for us.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for the last four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. After five years, I've had very few problems. In terms of problems, for example, sometimes I've seen some spikes in iOS. It came from our end, not from Pure.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is easy to scale. I'm running two environments right now, so I need to scale. I've got an A-side and a B-side.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. I did the GUI configuration after Pure finished their end, so it was very easy for me to set up. They just did the back end. I did the physical setup. They came back and did the configuration on the heads and I did the GUI set up with the network configuration, so everything else we set up ourselves. The setting up volume was very easy.

What about the implementation team?

Pure assisted us with the implementation. It was a beautiful experience because we had an older model on which the head had to be upgraded. They did it seamlessly. I had no drops in my VMs.

What was our ROI?

There has definitely been an ROI. In four years I've never seen another storage vendor that offers what's called an Evergreen solution. I should have my refresh next year, so I'm getting a brand new a controller with a minimal cost. By then we're going back and replacing the whole thing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did a POC with three different vendors. Pure won out due to its resiliency, adaptability and the IOS and the feature sets. I was able to pull up all three discs at the same time and it never failed.

What other advice do I have?

We are using the private cloud deployment model.

We are running VM on Pure. The main driver around VM on Pure is the number of IOPS I was able to get out of the two controllers. That was the main reason I chose Pure.

I'm not using any plugin with the vCenter or anything else like that.

The advice I would give to others considering implementation is to do your investigation, do a POC, and try it out. Find out which fits your needs. Also, isolate your workload. Don't mix your workloads if you want to do a successful VDI deployment.

I would give the solution nine out of ten.

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