5 years with Pure Storage FlashArray
Updated March 25, 2021
5 years with Pure Storage FlashArray
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Pure Storage FlashArray
We originally started using Pure Storage FlashArray for our VDI workload. We have subsequently expanded usage to include general virtualization workloads. This has been a perfect storage platform for fast disk with data that can be deduplicated and compressed. In our VDI environment, we are seeing better than 7:1 data reduction, and for our other use cases we are seeing 5:1 or better.
- Simple management
- Dedupe and compression
- Snapshot replication
- Display of different data reduction rates can be confusing and could be noted better in the interface
- Pure doesn't have an easy way to note who at the customer is responsible for management/maintenance of different units under the same overall account
- The level of data reduction that we saw with our VDI workloads exceeded expectations and brought down the per/GB cost of the disk even lower than anticipated, resulting in greater cost savings over our previous storage solution.
- Better visibility to our workload in terms of performance, growth, etc.
- Evergreen controller upgrade was performed with zero downtime and extended the useful life of our system.
Initially, there was internal resistance to purchasing from a relatively small, relatively new storage vendor over purchasing from our traditional storage vendors that had much more established track records. This included concerns about Pure's long-term viability, whether they would be snapped up by another vendor, etc. However, after performing head-to-head tests of arrays, the advantages and cost differential helped to justify this switch.
Much simpler to configure and manage than traditional storage arrays. Because of this, it requires much less training and much less daily care than traditional arrays. In addition, we've gotten better visibility into our workload. Built-in snapshot replication has also improved how we handle some of our backup and off-site DR requirements.
The Pure1 management portal for a great view into multiple arrays - performance, status, capacity planning, etc. Simple management interface. Outstanding support both from the local sales team and SE as well as from back-end support staff during upgrades, issues, etc. Great data reduction with minimal to no impact on performance.
The most visible impact to the end-users was in our VDI and XenApp environment, where there was a measurable improvement in performance for both workloads. Faster login time, faster application launch times, as well as a lower cost passed on to the end-user.
We initially evaluated NetApp EF-series and EMC XtremeIO arrays against the Pure FlashArray. The NetApp array was low cost but lacked many of the features of the other two arrays. XtremeIO was more expensive than the Pure FlashArray solution, did not perform as well on data reduction, and required additional components to match some of the Pure features.
Well suited to workloads that require fast Flash storage and that can support a reasonable level of deduplication and compression. Most cost-effective when the workload supports data reduction. Data that cannot be deduplicated and/or compressed may not be as good a fit as it increases the cost of the storage.
Pure Storage FlashArray Feature Ratings
Upgrading Pure Storage FlashArray
Yes - Upgrade was completed with no downtime and no performance impact, although out of an abundance of caution we did this off-hours. Pure support always checks the environment prior to upgrading to ensure all paths are active and everything looks good prior to starting.
- Move to a supported release, as the release we had been on was going EOL
- Latest bug and security fixes
- Continued improvement in performance, integration with VMware, etc.
Significantly less resources to manage, and simpler for lower-level administrators to manage. In addition, the evergreen option has already let us upgrade our controllers once to the next generation, preserving our investment. The shift to the new controllers was seamless and required no downtime. Non-disruptive upgrades have also been extremely useful for the use cases on these arrays, where outage windows are difficult to obtain.
Using Pure Storage FlashArray
25 - Direct users of the flash array are IT storage, virtualization, and monitoring teams to different extents. The arrays support around 3000 Citrix Apps and Desktop users as well as significant revenue-generating systems.
5 - We have 5 dedicated storage engineers who support the Pure arrays in addition to supporting a number of other storage systems. However, in terms of effort, the Pure arrays take less support than any of our other platforms, probably on the order of an hour or two a week.
Pure Storage FlashArray Support
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response