Storage Company of the Year
What is novel about Pure Storage
Put simply, Pure Storage gives technologists their time back. Companies are trapped working with legacy systems and software, spending all their time making sure these rigid architectures keep running as opposed to focusing on innovation. Pure solves this by delivering its customers a Modern Data Experience that empowers them to run their operations as a true, automated, storage as-a-service model seamlessly across multiple clouds. Pure helps customers put data to use while reducing the complexity and expense of managing the infrastructure behind it. Ultimately, a combination of the above means that Pure is outpacing the market and competition with the experience it provides to its customers.
Just over ten years ago Pure set out to create the all-flash data center, and to make all-flash technology accessible for every organization and every workload. Throughout the years, Pure has delivered innovation after innovation to help solve our customers’ most critical challenges and delivered the best possible solutions and services in the market.
How Pure Storage breaks with conventional ideas in the field, and goes beyond marginal improvements that already exist
Pure’s mission is to enable its customers by delivering a modern data experience. This entails accelerating core applications, activating real-time analytics, enabling hybrid cloud and modernising data protection, which Pure facilitates by transforming companies’ storage operations through solutions which are simple to use, reliable, efficient and flexible. Pure’s portfolio of solutions lay the foundation for infrastructure to be dynamic and provide a cloud-like experience via shared services, flexible on-demand consumption and responsiveness to the needs of applications.
Over the last 12 months, Pure has made several significant announcements that illustrate the company’s laser focus on solving customer challenges and industry-leading innovation strengths.
Pure’s flagship product, FlashArray//X, is the world’s first enterprise-class, end-to-end NVMe flash storage array. Built from the ground-up, optimized for all-flash with rich enterprise data services, FlashArray disrupts the industry, bringing 100 percent NVMe to market with 0$ price premium making leading edge innovation mainstream. Recent developments to the FlashArray line include the native integration of mature file system protocols, meaning that customers can consolidate additional workloads onto FlashArray and expect the same effortless management and efficiencies as they have with their block workloads.
In August, Pure announced the second generation of FlashArray//C, the industry’s first all-QLC (quad level cell) flash array. This is an important development as it will reduce the cost of running capacity-oriented workloads so significantly (~30%) that it will eliminate the need for legacy hybrid disk arrays. This means that flash storage is now closer to mainstream use for any workload within an organisation’s infrastructure which may previously have been relegated to spinning disk or inefficient hybrid solutions.
Organisations are facing huge challenges with their workloads: the need for real-time analytics, wide performance requirements, and increasing ransomware attacks with stringent recovery SLAs. To combat these diverse requirements, Pure Storage created FlashBlade(™) as the world's first unified fast file and object (UFFO) storage platform to address the most demanding workloads and facilitate customers’ digital transformation journeys. It is the only UFFO architecture in the industry, and it allows customers to scale out performance and capacity without scaling up complexity. It enables organisations to tackle their most challenging modern data requirements with simplicity, performance, and superior consolidation.
As the first data platform in the industry to offer both native file and object support, FlashBlade allows data architects to utilise the same system for a multitude of analytic applications, providing a single accelerated tier of storage for the most demanding data pipelines. In addition, FlashBlade acts as an effective defense against ransomware if used as a disaster recovery solution. FlashBlade possesses unparalleled recovery performance of up to 270 TB/hour, with a peak backup speed of 90 TB/hour, which is simply unmatched. It also includes a unique feature in SafeMode Snapshots, able to create immutable, read-only backups, preventing them from being deleted or encrypted even if IT credentials are compromised.
At the corporate level, Pure continued to make waves by announcing its intention to acquire Portworx in September. Portworx is the leading Kubernetes data services platform, and by combining with Pure’s industry-leading data platforms and Service Orchestrator software, Pure will provide a comprehensive suite of data services that can be deployed in the cloud, on bare metal, or on enterprise arrays, all natively orchestrated in Kubernetes. In short, this will deliver the industry’s most complete platform for every stage of the cloud native journey.
This acquisition also ties into and supports Pure’s cloud vision and strategy, which enables customers to make choices based on their business objectives rather than compromises, opting for ‘cloud best’ rather than ‘cloud first’. Pure does this through its hybrid cloud solutions, which unite the best of public and private clouds, allowing customers to simultaneously leverage the private cloud with its enterprise grade performance, and the public cloud, with all the agility, ease of use and dynamism that it offers. By delivering a common set of data services across on-premises and cloud, enabling consistent storage capabilities, APIs, and resiliency, customers can build and run applications anywhere.
All of Pure’s offerings are supported by Evergreen, Pure’s unique business model. Evergreen enables storage that is deployed once and non-disruptively upgraded, as needed, without the need to re-buy TBs of storage capacity or controllers customers already own. There’s no need for downtime, performance impact, or data migrations. In addition, compatibility for future technologies has been engineered directly into existing arrays. No other vendor is able to do this. In fact, after seven years competitors are still playing catch-up to Pure’s Evergreen programme of continuous non-disruptive upgrades, which provides customers a subscription to innovation rather than a contract for obsolescence.
Finally, Pure supports its customers with unmatched flexibility through its Pure as-a-Service offering. A fully flexible, opex consumption model, as opposed to the traditional capex alternative, Pure as-a-Service allows users to move data seamlessly between on-premises or in-cloud and only pay for what they use. A flexible consumption model is one of the biggest benefits of the cloud. It provides businesses with the agility to aggressively drive modernization projects with low risk of rising costs, budget depletion, or vendor lock in.
In 2020 specifically, the challenges presented by Covid-19 mean that IT leaders are at a commercially critical point in history. How and where they invest is under scrutiny like never before as companies look to technology to provide the solution. Flexible consumption models, with their low TCO, rapid integration and agility are perfectly suited to the many unique hurdles of today’s operating environment. Customers looking for a risk averse, automated solution have responded well to the introduction of this new way of consuming storage, evidenced by Pure recording subscription services revenue of $131.4 million, up 37% year-over-year as of its latest Q2 FY21 earnings.
In recognition of the tireless drive to improve customer outcomes, Pure possesses a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 82. The score is awarded by customers and is a direct endorsement of the outstanding work Pure does to support its customers and help them turn data into competitive advantage. In contrast to Pure, the average NPS score for the storage industry is only 24. A score of 82 puts Pure within the top 1% of B2B companies.
Pure is also a consistent leader within analyst ratings. For example, for the sixth year in a row Pure Storage has been ranked as a leader within the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Primary Storage, and is placed furthest for Completeness of Vision. Pure is also placed top right within IDC’s Storage MarketScape, putting it firmly within the ‘leaders’ segment. Even in the midst of a global economic downturn, Pure has been able to maintain upward momentum thanks to its relentless commitment to helping customers solve their data challenges. According to IDC’s 1H 2020 worldwide external OEM storage tracker, Pure was one of only two major global vendors to show growth YoY. As Pure continues to take market share, not only has it significantly outperformed the external storage market in the past quarter, but also outpaced the growth of the overall all-flash market. This is a strong performance given that Pure’s primary competitors are largely flat to down. Pure has maintained the top place in market share gain over the past 6 and a half years, and now supports over 8,150 customers (23% growth YoY as of latest Q2 FY21 earnings).
How customers benefit from Pure Storage
Regardless of the industry, Pure is able to support some of the world’s largest organizations in addressing their data challenges, including 45% of the Fortune 500.
In the UK specifically, Pure is helping Man AHL, a pioneer in the field of systematic quantitative investing with more than $24 billion in assets under its management. Its entire business is based on creating and executing computer models to make investment decisions. The company adopted FlashBlade to deliver the massive storage throughput and scalability required to meet its most demanding simulation applications.
Pure also supports The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) by providing one of its large-scale science facilities, JASMIN, with a highly resilient solution for JASMIN home directories and to house compilation workloads. Researchers now have a reliable, high-performing, and energy-efficient solution that provides uninterrupted access to key environmental research.
Another customer that has been using Pure Storage to stay ahead of the competition for several years is Formula 1 team Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. As one of the most successful teams in F1 history, every possible step and action has to be taken in order to gain the crucial milliseconds needed to secure its leading position on the grid. In order to support its systems and to empower race analytics, it was crucial that its team had high performance storage that could meet the demands of its systems.
By opting for Pure Storage’s solutions such as FlashBlade, the team has enjoyed blinding speed, unprecedented reliability and availability, and significant savings in operating costs. To name a few benefits, response times for key database queries were slashed by 95%, the time needed to open critical data files was cut by two-thirds, data center rack space was reduced by 68% and the overall time required to manage storage was lowered by over 90%.
Commenting on how Pure Storage has helped the team improve its performance, Matt Harris, Head of IT at Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport said: “The data we collect is extremely valuable and helps us maintain a competitive advantage in a short amount of time. IT’s pledge is to make that process as fast and reliable as possible. Pure Storage helps us deliver on that promise.