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Another Pure Accelerate conference is in the books and was filled with exciting updates, reconnecting with industry peers, and a fun interview with the NBA Hall-of-Famer - Shaquille O'Neal.

Pure Accelerate was held at one of the newest and greenest venues, Resorts World Las Vegas.   It was their first, post-pandemic conference that was back to 100% in person attendance for customers and partners.  Whilst the venue and amenities were beautiful, Pure's innovation and technology updates are what everyone will remember.

With data growing exponentially, Data Center space becoming a premium, and energy costs on the rise, the recurring theme for this year's conference was "Disk is Done" and focused on how Pure is helping its customers move to All-flash Data Centers.  Through their 20% reinvestment back into Research and Development, and with their focus on ESG, they are delivering solutions that uses 1/5th the space, and up to 85% less power.  

We'll highlight each of the major announcements below.


Much to everyone's surprise, Pure released the FlashBlade//E product line back on March 1st of this year.  The FlashBlade//E is built on the same architecture as the FlashBlade//S but uses lower performant blades and the same QLC based Direct Flash Modules (DFMs) to target those file and object workloads that run on traditional disk-based storage arrays by delivering a 100% flash solution that uses less power, requires less cooling, is more reliable and is ultra-dense.  

Well… they surprised us again with the newest release in the Pure //E family - the FlashArray//E.  The FlashArray//E is going after those block and file based workloads with a goal to provide a cost-effective way for customers to remove all the power-hungry, spinning media from their data centers while providing better economics and much higher reliability than disk.

FlashArray//E Specs:

New FlashArray//E Controller
  • Same Purity//FA OS - Unified Block/File with full data reduction capabilities
  • 3U Base Chassis / 3U Expansion Chassis
  • 1 -4PB RAW in 6U using the new 75TB DFMs.

The Pure//E family delivers 1/5th the space and power, 60% lower operational costs of legacy arrays, 85% less e-waste, and 10x-20x the reliability for workloads ranging from image libraries to cold data and long-term archives.

//XC R4 Controllers

Following Intel's release of their Sapphire Rapids CPUs, Pure has released their new R4 storage controllers for the //X and //C line that use the latest and greatest features from Intel.  

Early tests are showing a greater than 40% increase in performance compared to the FlashArray R3 models.

New FlashArray //XCR4 Controller

They have also converged their //X and //C lines together with this release, meaning that if you have a //XC50 R4 controller and pair it with TLC based DFMs it acts as a //X model delivering high performance with less than 1ms latency. If you pair that same controller with QLC based DFMs it acts as //C model supporting more capacity oriented workloads with latencies ranging from 1-5ms response times.  

Keeping true to Pure's Evergreen Forever program, existing subscribers with prior generation controllers you can non-disruptively upgrade to the new //XC R4 version seamlessly, with no downtime and no data migrations.

New FlashArray//C Lineup

With the new converged line of R4 controllers, the older //C40 and //C60 models have been replaced with //C50, //C70 and //C90 models.  Utilizing the new, larger DFMs, you can have almost 9PB of effective storage in 6U of rack space for those business-critical block and file workloads.

Direct Flash Modules (DFMs)

150x improvement in today's DFM compared to Pure's first shipping SSD 10 years ago.

What's driving the unbelievable savings in space, power and cooling is the new 75TB DFMe.  One of the unique advantages Pure Storage has is their purpose built DFMs.  Traditional SSDs emulate a spinning hard disk through the flash translation layer that is responsible for the garbage collection and wear leveling that occurs within the drive.  Plus for every MB of storage, 1 byte of memory is required for it to be able to perform the normal SSD operations.  So as SSD's get more dense, they require a lot more RAM which makes them more expensive.  A DFM on the other hand is basically a bunch of raw flash modules on a drive sled that are 100% exposed directly to the Purity OS.  This enables Purity to do system-wide, global flash management and garbage collection, while not requiring extra hidden flash for wear leveling.  The Direct Flash capabilities of the Purity OS results in greater efficiency, higher reliability, and increased longevity of the flash.  

These new DFMe's are 7x denser, 20x+ more reliable, and use 1/5th the space and power compared to a 10TB spinning hard drive.  The new 75TB DFMe is available for the FlashArray//C and FlashArray//E lines today and will be available for the FlashBlade//E before the end of the year.

Pure1 Enhancements

Pure1, which is Pure's single point of monitoring solution, continues to improve over time as additional features are added.

Data Protection Assessment 

The recently added Data Protection Assessment gives you a quick visualization and report on which arrays in your fleet are configured for Snapshots and SafeMode best practices.  Recommendations for improvements are given at a granular per-object level for each of the FlashArrays and FlashBlades across your environment.

Quick glimpse into your fleet of arrays that are not following best practices

DRR Anomaly Detection

The new DRR Anomaly Detection within Pure1 constantly monitors the FlashArray Data Reduction Rate (DRR) on a per volume basis for large changes and alerts you when things just don't look right.  While it's not going to stop the bad things from happening in your environment, it will let you know when they occurred and the SafeMode snapshots you can use to restore from for the impacted volumes.

Quick view on point-in-time when data reduction rate drops, possibly due to encrypted files

Evergreen//One Ransomware Recovery SLA

Evergreen//One is Pure's storage-as-a-service offering that allows you to consume storage as a subscription.  Just pick the SLA level you want and the subscription length (12-60 months) and you'll pay for what you use while always having burst capacity available.  

When Ransomware strikes, the storage array is taken offline and is usually tied up for weeks-to-months in a cleanroom trying to determine what's all infected and how did it happen.  The Ransomware Recovery SLA is a new add-on available for your existing Evergreen//One subscription.  This add-on gives you a guarantee where, in the event you are hit with Ransomware and you have SafeMode enabled with a minimum 14 days of retention, Pure will:

  • Next business day to ship clean recovery array(s)
  • 48 hours to finalize a recovery plan
  • 8 TiB/Hour data transfer rate.

But it doesn't stop there, also included with the Ransomware Recovery SLA are Bundled Services from Pure for the stand up of the new array through RMA of infected arrays. 

While SafeMode and the Evergreen//One Ransomware Recovery SLA won't stop a Ransomware attack from happening, it does provide you with the ability to restore, from immutable snapshots, to a new array with a recovery plan, quickly.

In closing 

Through the innovations and announcements, it's clear to see Pure Storage's focus on "treating Data storage as High Technology" and delivers on:

  • Highly Consistent Portfolio
    • 1 Purity OS
    • 2 Hardware Platforms
    • 1 Management Platform
  • Cloud Operating Model
    • Pools of Storage
    • Managed as a fleet
    • Orchestrated and Available as a service
  • Direct to Flash Management has the following benefits
    • Efficiency
    • Reliability
    • Longevity
  • Evergreen
    • keep your storage modern
    • no data migrations
    • subscribe to what you need

From the food to the venue, and the great innovative announcements (even a chat with the "Charlie G" and Shaq), Pure Accelerate 2023 was an all-around great event. For those that were not able to attend in person in Las Vegas, Pure's Accelerate roadshow is coming to major cities around the globe in the months ahead.  Keep an eye on this link for more information, dates and to register.

WWT was fortunate enough to come away with the "Worldwide Partner of the Year" award during the Global Partner Forum that preceded the event.