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Compare Cisco MDS Series vs. Pure Storage FlashArray

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Top Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco MDS Series vs. Pure Storage FlashArray and other solutions. Updated: September 2021.
543,424 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:

"The features I found most valuable are the ease of deployment, it's easy to upgrade, easy to configure and easy to administer. There is no need for vendor professional services which saves project cost. The usage of WebUI for all primary features like hostname, IP address, SNMP traps, zone sets, addition and deletion of zone members or zone sets, backup of switch DB is very simple.""The issues with these switches are extremely rare, and the whole product line is very predictable and stable.""The most valuable features of this solution are the devices, databases, and zoning."

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"The speed of the Pure FlashArray is very, very fast and nothing in the market can compare to it.""The most valuable features are the replication of data and the continuous snapshot that we can take from the disc.""At this point, I don't know anything that they could provide in a better way.""I like its speed. It has all the features that I need.""It's very fast and very easy to use. It performs well and is both flexible and compatible. We like it because it's easy to use.""The mobile app is very helpful.""This solution is very scalable.""Pure Storage is extremely reliable — it's never failed."

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"It is quite a stable product. It should be shipped with the latest firmware to avoid download and upload schema at the beginning of the initial setup. There should also be the possibility of downgrading the firmware when required. WebUI needs DCNM instead a web-based GUI should be made available like Brocade san switch.""The licensing model could be less complicated.""The GUI client is Java-based and we know that Java is not secure, so everyone disables it."

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"It is not possible to create a cluster on top of multiple arrays.""The problem is that we can only make a few groups, around five or six groups. I like groups and we need a lot of them. We had to put all the information in only a few groups and cannot make a more detailed separation of them.""It would be nice to have a better view of the allocated capacity on their Platform as a Service solution because we have to do some manual calculations to understand how much we are going to pay every month to use the storage that is allocated.""Its price needs improvement. Its price is almost double than any other flash storage solution.""The integration capabilities could be improved.""The solution is not cheap.""I feel like there is too much automation; the user doesn't have any manual input.""On a couple of occasions, the waiting time for an upgrade has been pretty substantial."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
"It's perpetual licensing and maintenance is a recurrent cost."

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"Its price is almost double than any other flash storage solution.""The price, in general, is around $100,000, however, I know it costs more.""They have a standardized fee; it's been the same price for 10 years straight. I am happy with the price — I think it's good.""We do not incur additional costs beyond the licensing fee.""My organization has a yearly license, but I believe that Pure Storage FlashArray has capacity-based licenses as well. I'm definitely happy with the pricing.""There is an annual or perpetual license required for this solution.""Pure is typically more expensive than everyone else. You get what you pay for, but I have lost deals to similar solutions because of pricing. They include everything, and that's another positive about Pure Storage. They aren't trying to nickel and dime their customers for different features. It is all included in one price. The license is by capacity, and the price depends on the capacity and the discount we're getting from the vendor. You get the SKU of the physical appliance, support, and maintenance, and that's it. You're licensed for whatever feature they offer. It is all rolled up into the price of the appliance.""The pricing is reasonable."

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Questions from the Community
Top Answer: The most valuable features of this solution are the devices, databases, and zoning.
Top Answer: It's perpetual licensing and maintenance is a recurrent cost.
Top Answer: The GUI client is Java-based and we know that Java is not secure, so everyone disables it. It would be nice to have an HTML-based client. The initial setup could be simplified.
Top Answer: Both are great platforms, but if you are considering all flash solutions, I would recommend you to consider Pure Storage. It may be more expensive, but it should pay for itself for its… more »
Top Answer: Processes that used to take 40 minutes to two hours can be completed in five minutes.
Top Answer: When we bought the unit, we bought per capacity. So, the licensing is per capacity, and the only thing that we have to buy every year or every three years is maintenance. Included in that maintenance… more »
out of 14 in Enterprise SAN
Average Words per Review
Average Words per Review
Also Known As
Cisco MDS 9100, Cisco MDS 9222i, Cisco MDS 9700
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Cisco MDS 9000 Series Switches have met and often exceeded the demanding requirements for storage area networks for more than a decade. They offer a combination of performance, non-stop operations, and multiprotocol flexibility.

Pure Storage FlashArray is the world’s first enterprise-class, all-NVMe flash storage array. It represents a new class of storage – shared accelerated storage, that delivers major breakthroughs in performance, simplicity, and consolidation. Pure Storage is fresh and modern today and will be for the next decade. Without forklift upgrades or planned downtime, Pure takes the work out of storage ownership and delivers unprecedented customer satisfaction.

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Sample Customers
National Rugby League
Nielsen, Lamar Advertising, LinkedIn, Betfair, UT-Dallas
Top Industries
Comms Service Provider35%
Computer Software Company27%
Manufacturing Company5%
Financial Services Firm19%
Healthcare Company15%
Manufacturing Company9%
Computer Software Company26%
Comms Service Provider18%
Manufacturing Company7%
Financial Services Firm6%
Company Size
No Data Available
Small Business24%
Midsize Enterprise18%
Large Enterprise58%
Small Business12%
Midsize Enterprise9%
Large Enterprise79%

Cisco MDS Series is ranked 2nd in Enterprise SAN with 3 reviews while Pure Storage FlashArray is ranked 2nd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 18 reviews. Cisco MDS Series is rated 9.4, while Pure Storage FlashArray is rated 9.2. The top reviewer of Cisco MDS Series writes "Easy to upgrade, easy to configure and easy to administer". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Pure Storage FlashArray writes "Provides protection against ransomware threats with immutable snapshots, and it is well known for its scalability, ease of use, and non-disruptive upgrades". Cisco MDS Series is most compared with Dell EMC Connectrix SAN, HPE SN6000 and INFINIDAT InfiniBox, whereas Pure Storage FlashArray is most compared with NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS), Dell EMC Unity XT, Dell EMC PowerStore, HPE Nimble Storage and IBM FlashSystem.

We monitor all Enterprise SAN reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.