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Pure Storage FlashArray Review: "Very happy with our FlashArray"
https://www.trustradius.com/enterprise-flash-array-storagePure Storage FlashArrayUnspecified9.775101
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Updated January 08, 2019

Pure Storage FlashArray Review: "Very happy with our FlashArray"

Score 10 out of 101
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Overall Satisfaction with Pure Storage FlashArray

Pure's support is fantastic. We have not needed them very often but when we have they have been quite responsive. When our array has dialed home, they usually know about it before we do. We have used them for code upgrades in the past and they are very proactive about letting us know about upgrades as they come out to get them scheduled.
We currently use the Pure Storage FlashArray as general use block storage for a VMware environment with around 450 guest VM's for a single department. When we replaced out Vmax array, we were looking for an all-flash solution that was easy to manage and delivered great performance with very high uptime. Pure Storage FlashArray has delivered on all of these.
  • Deduplication and compression are a definite strong point for Pure. We see on average 6:1 data reduction across our environment.
  • Ease of use. FlashArray is very simple to use. Managing block storage has gone from a full-time job to almost an afterthought for us. There is no more monitoring and tuning on a daily basis for best performance. A simple look at the Pure1 dashboard is all it takes to get a picture of all of our arrays' health. Setting up new volumes and replication is super easy and it takes only a few clicks.
  • Hardware and Software upgrades. We have done two controller swaps, one from the FA series to the M series and another from the M series to the X series. Both times were full-time our environment with zero downtime. They also took very little time, ~4 hours to complete. Drive and shelf upgrades are equally as quick, require no downtime and zero configuration. Software updates are performed remotely by Pure are also seamless.
  • None
  • The performance had really helped our day to day business processes. Run time of daily processing jobs has reduced significantly.
  • The dedupe and compression have really helped with the amount of storage buys we have had to do over the last 4 years. We have a lot of headroom for growth with the amount of raw storage we have purchased.
  • The Pure Storage FlashArray has not had a single second of downtime in the 4 years we have had it. This kind of reliability is almost unheard of.

My department has definitely benefited from both the ease of use and low maintenance of FlashArray. We have a small, four-person staff to manage our data center. In the past, I was the only person that had any experience with storage, making storage management a single point of failure for our organization. The ease of use of Pure allowed all of the other admins to now manage the arrays with minimal training, freeing me up to focus on other areas that need my attention.

The lot maintenance has also been a big plus for us. The day-to-day really just involves watching the free space to make sure we aren't creeping up to a point where we need to add space. We can check this from the Pure1 dashboard on our PC's or mobile devices. For us, block storage has gone from a full-time job to an afterthought.

My best advice would be to give it a fair shot, forget any biases you may have, and compare it to everything else out there head to head. When we did a POC of Pure Storage and baked it off against other arrays, the choice was easy.
We compared this unit directly against the EMC XtremIO array. We selected Pure for a number of reasons. The points where Pure really stood out were the method of scaling/ ease of additional hardware updates, single SKU licensing, Evergreen upgrades and built-in replication. Upgrades and replication are two that really stand out for us.

With EMC, to add more disk we would have had to add more bricks which could result in downtime. With Pure Storage, they can add a shelf and configure it in less time than it takes to remove it from the box. Replication was also a big factor. With Pure Storage, it's built in with no extra cost. EMC would have required us to also buy Recoverpoint which would have almost tripled the initial buy-in.
  • When we were still evaluating Pure Storage FlashArray, we had to use it as a data lifeboat for all the LUNs on our Vmax when an SRM failover test left all the LUNs with invalid signatures and some of the VMware hosts were unable to talk to them. The only recourse was to format the LUNs, but we had to do something with the data. We were able to put it all on Pure while we formatted them. Despite filling the disk on that eval box, it never skipped a beat and delivered sub-millisecond latency and outstanding performance. We were able to reconfigure the Vmax and suffered zero downtime.
We are using it as a general purpose block storage with replication to a remote site. Our guest VM's are mostly Windows with a lot of SQL servers. The array has performed very well for this workload.

Pure Storage FlashArray Implementation

The install was very quick. The engineer that Pure sent said that if we started by 10 am we would be done by lunchtime, and he was not kidding.
Change management was minimal

Relationship with Pure Storage

Pure was very attentive and I also appreciated that they did not bad talk their competitors when we brought them up. They simply asked us to give the unit a fair eval and see how it stacked up. The competition, on the other hand, tried to trash Pure at every turn. I think that is because they were afraid their product was not as mature and not as solid.
Our Pure Storage rep has always kept an open line of communication with quarterly roadmap updates. The SE that works with him always makes sure that we know about the latest features and software fixes as they are released and has taken ownership of any services that we have needed. Pure has been very good to work with.

Upgrading Pure Storage FlashArray

Yes - We have done 2 hardware upgrades. Both times there was zero downtime and zero impact to running virtual machines.
  • Ability to upgrade to NVME disk in the future
  • More fiber for added FC bandwidth