Pure Storage FlashArray Review

Plug-and-play; the ease of use and proactive tech support are key for us


What is our primary use case?

We use the solution for VM storage in a private cloud model. The main motivations we had to run VMware on Pure were the simplicity and cost.

We're using the M70 R2.

How has it helped my organization?

We went from a four-cabinet VMAX array, where we paid $16,000 a month for a pod just for the array to sit in, and we took that down to seven U's of rack space in our existing co-lo facility. Not only did we save time, but we saved money, power, and air conditioning; all of that good stuff.

We also use VMware integrations developed by Pure, their plugins in our vCenter environment. They help by allowing our non-technical operations teams to deploy new data stores and resize data stores without me having to involve myself all the time to do those simple tasks.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ease of use. It's really plug-and-play. It just works and it works really well.

What needs improvement?

I haven't really had a bad experience or something I think that they can improve on. I'm not saying that to be really nice. The way the platform works, the way that their sales team works, the way their support team works, everything just works really well. If they could make it cheaper, that would be something.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable and we've never had an issue with it. The array has just worked. It's been a little workhorse. It's just perfect in every way that I can think of.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaling is easy. You just plug in new disks, it sees them and it works. I can't explain it any better than that. You just plug it in and it works.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have used Pure's tech support quite a few times. It's probably the best tech support experience that I've had. I love that, by utilizing Pure's SaaS platform, they let me know about problems that they've seen with other customers who are using the same version of the software or the same model array. They reach out proactively and say, "Hey, we've seen these kinds of things happen with other customers. You should do X to fix this so you don't experience the problems." It's something that most storage companies don't do nowadays. They make my job easier by being really proactive.

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

We were looking to get away from Dell EMC to some other platform, and Pure was the number-one disruptor in the market. Their story, their price point, and what they said they could deliver are what sold us.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. It took about 30 minutes from unboxing to actually being on the network and being able to utilize it in our VMware environment.

What about the implementation team?

A Pure engineer was onsite with me to do it. It was very simple. He asked me about five questions about IP address and NTP, etc. Then he did the rest with a script.

What was our ROI?

We easily save, on just the basic costs for facilities, $16,000 a month.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated Dell EMC, 3PAR, Nimble, Tintri, and NetApp.

What other advice do I have?

Like I tell everybody else that I deal with, if you want to focus your time on doing more valuable things for your company, and you deal with storage on a day-to-day basis like I do, the best thing you can do is put Pure in your environment. It really is set-it-and-forget-it. I've come from the days of VMAXs where you're sitting there tweaking and turning knobs all the time to try to make sure that your storage environment is tip-top. With this, you literally plug it in, connect it and serve it, and then it does everything else itself. I get to focus my time on doing other things that are more valuable to the company.

On a scale of one to ten, Pure is an 11.

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