Pure performance. Pure reliability. Pure.
September 13, 2019
Pure performance. Pure reliability. Pure.
Score 9 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Pure Storage FlashArray
Our Pure Storage arrays are used at multiple sites globally. They are the backend storage to our VMware and Citrix XenDesktop environments. The Pure systems replaced aging spinning disk systems that were out of support and maintenance. Pure Storage FlashArray systems provide ease of use, high performance, and reliability that our older spinning disk arrays could never match. In addition to those qualities, Pure's support model is wonderful - they contact us about issues before we even notice there's a problem (which has been very rare). Pure also performs all software/firmware upgrades remotely based on our change management schedules; we give them a time and they do all the work, notifying us at the beginning and end of the updates. The updates we've been provided have never caused us an issue, outage, or downtime. Advanced, simple, performant, robust...Pure.
- Performant - the Pure arrays are fast. Even with the workload of 800+ virtual machines, including Oracle and MS SQL, and applications like SAP, we've still not hit a performance boundary with the Pure systems we use.
- Reliability - none of our Pure systems have ever caused us an outage; even during upgrades and maintenance we've never had to shut down the workload they support for any reason. From a storage point of view, they've provided us 100% uptime since we've been using them.
- Ease of support - Pure's remote management and support are like nothing we've seen before. The upgrades and patches provided are installed remotely based on our schedule, by trained, knowledgeable staff. Beyond that, Pure alerts us to failing components before we have any issues and before we have to call them; replacements are scheduled and performed onsite by experienced technicians.
- Reporting - Pure's analytics generate reports that Pure reviews with us on a periodic basis. They explain to us how our systems are performing and if we should consider upgrading if we start pushing the performance of our current system. Upgrades to faster / larger models haven't been needed yet, but with the periodic reviews, we'll know in advance if we are approaching a threshold we need to be concerned with.
- Ease of use - Pure has taken out the difficulties of managing a SAN. We no longer have to think about which disks need to be in what part of the array, or how we should tier the storage, or worry about "hot spots". It's just "the array" that we can carve up how we need. The management interface is simple, and the vSphere plugins make configuration and day to day management straight forward.
- Having used arrays from IBM, EMC, and NetApp, the Pure system is the easiest, simplest system we've ever used. I can't find an area of improvement simply because no one else has had better ideas that surpass Pure's design.
- Everything has been positive. When we first got Pure Storage and started testing various workloads on it, the questions from the DBA's and the various application owners were "when can we move production over?" Processes that use to take 2 weeks (e.g. SAP system copies) were reduced by half, saving developer time and provided improved performance in every workload we've moved over to Pure. Some improvements have been significant, others minor, but adding it all up, we're sure that it's made a noticeable impact on the business.
- With the 100% uptime we've had (from a storage perspective) Pure has provided a significant ROI. One of our previous arrays had a critical fix early in its life and we had to shut down our VMware environment at one of our sites for the vendor to patch the system; we had to shut down hundreds of VM's supporting dozens of business applications affecting various portions of our global environment. Not so with Pure Storage FlashArray.
We've used EMC (VNX 7200 and 5400), IBM (XIV, v7000, v5000, and DS8100) and NetApp (IBM nSeries 6240 and 3220). None of the others have the reliability and performance of the Pure system. Beyond that, Pure's support has been second to none.
In our environment, we have yet to see where our Pure Storage system is a bad fit. The only exception to that would probably be disk-based backups; we don't use it there only because we use less expensive spinning disk for backups as we don't have a performance, management, or downtime sensitive backup environment.