Pure Flash: Catching Up Or Racing Ahead?
Jun15

Pure Flash: Catching Up Or Racing Ahead?

SAN FRANCISCO: There were a number of product announcements, some fascinating market research, and insights into the future provided at, and leading up to, this week’s Pure//Accelerate 2017, the second annual customer/partner event from enterprise flash storage market light-heavyweight Pure Storage, Nearing the $1-billion revenue mark, the company is comfortably in the top five flash vendors and offers an interesting perspective on where the market is, and where it might be going. The company’s marketing slogan — or at least one of them — is software-driven, hardware-accelerated, so it’s appropriate that there were more than 25 software announcements, all delivered in evergreen, all seamless upgrades. “Our core DNA is software,” said Scott ‘Dietz’ Dietzen, CEO of Pure Storage. The announcements included: Pure1 META, it’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform for delivering on the vision of self-driving storage; its vision for the data platform for the cloud era; major updates to its flagship software, Purity, Purity for FlashArray 5.0, and Purity for FlashBlade 2.0; and Purity CloudSnap, which extends Purity’s Snapshots to FlashBlade, NFS, and the public cloud. In April Pure announced FlashArray//X, the first mainstream all-NVMe FlashArray,  a new protocol for communicating with flash that provides the ‘low-latency and parallelism that promises to take the potential of flash to new heights,’ blogged Max Kixmoeller, Pure’s VP, Products. A month later it launched the NVMe Now promotion, an extension to the company’s TB-for-TB trade-in program Evergreen Storage. Through October 31, 2017, organizations using VMAX and XtremIO can upgrade to FlashArray//X, providing customers a “total cost of ownership savings of close to 50 percent over six years.” When asked how Pure’s portfolio now compares to the competition, storage guru Mark Peters, ESG Practice Director and Senior Analyst (Storage), Enterprise Strategy Group, gave them a solid ‘B’ and said they are now comparable, with the following caveats. It depends on how your define their competition and how you define their portfolio, he explained. “Assuming you are comparing to other AFA folks and just on the product rather than all the consumption and support choices, then they are now (at last) at least on par… maybe even with some nice advanced differentiators. If you compare to a broader storage, HCI or IT provider, clearly they have a long way to go.” If you assume it’s by how you define their portfolio, he views it as an iceberg. “To date we are only seeing a small % above the water (hence the solid “B”….but their architecture and approach means that their portfolio has immense extensibility — we are just not exposed to it all yet (so maybe an A’).” At least one competitor appears concerned about...

Read More

IBM DB2 Direct vs. Oracle: Innovation Is the Best Revenge

The tech industry has long promoted the concept and value of “co-opetition” – a process in which even viciously competing vendors can, in some areas, willingly cooperate in mutually beneficial ways. There are countless examples where the co-opetition dynamic works as advertised, some of them going back for decades. For example, system vendors that develop their own networking switches, including Dell, HP and IBM also sell Brocade, Cisco and/or Juniper solutions. Similarly, though most major server vendors have their own in-house storage systems, they also support offerings from storage specialists, including EMC, HDS, NetApp and many others. That doesn’t mean that co-opetition partners don’t occasionally get on the wrong side of one another. For example, Cisco’s decision to launch its own Unified Computing System (UCS) servers in 2009 rubbed many of its system vendor partners the wrong way. Then again, Cisco got some of its own back when strategic partner (and then-fellow VCE co-owner) VMware bought Nicera in 2012 to get a leg up in software-defined networking. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More

Apple Makes Huge Mistake At WWDC 2017

I’d tuned into the Apple World Wide Developer’s conference a tad late and missed the opening video but when I went back to check my notes on the keynote I had a WTF moment. Watch the start of the Tim Cook keynote for the show. To save you time it starts with a video of a guy who is brought into what looks like a data center, he is kind of an idiot. He unpacks his stuff and then wants to plug in his new age desktop waterfall and pulls the plug on what looks like a server or network tower in order to do this. When that component goes down it causes a cascade failure for all of the iPhones, Apple Watches, and iPads in the world. This collapse turns the world into a Mad Max future where cars don’t run, there appears to be no power, people are revolting, and everything pretty much sucks. The stated message was that the world depends on apps, but what the film seemed to showcase was that there is single point of complete failure for the entire Apple ecosystem and if it goes down our world collapses with it. Let’s talk about why it is really stupid for Apple to give folks the ideas that the platform is massively vulnerable and this vulnerability could destroy lives. You know I might be able to just stop there… For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More

Data Center Transformation, Powered by NetApp Transformation

It’s no secret that NetApp has had a tough go of things these past few years, but I’ve just returned from its annual industry analyst meeting and it was clear to me during this full day discussion that NetApp today is not the NetApp of yesterday. In our internal discussions these past few years, we acknowledged that it had an excellent technology foundation, had made some good acquisitions but executed bad integrations, and needed a significant overhaul – a transformation, if you will – including getting beyond selling storage boxes. For example: up leveling the discussion rather than selling speeds and feeds; expanding the portfolio beyond storage to deliver more value; ridding itself of the antibodies that prevented acquired technology from thriving; and being bold(er) in its marketing. NetApp was famous for technology innovations it never told anyone about (while other, bolder vendors claimed first mover advantage!) In the past two years, it has transformed to the point that the discussions we are having with it today are completely different than those we have had in the past. It is certainly not your father’s NetApp! To read the complete article, CLICK...

Read More

Think Economics, Not Features, When Evaluating Big Data Value

Traditional enterprise data warehouse solutions helped to open the eyes of many organizations to the value of their data. Although these are significant systems, organizations quickly learned to monetize the actionable insight extracted from these systems, which led the rampant growth of the industry. Big data did not get big just from data growth. It got big because of its potential value, opportunities, and savings. The more cost-efficiently you can capture a lot of data, plus the number of ways you can analyze it, equals the more worthwhile all that data could become. Value is results divided by costs. These (pseudo-)equations of big data value now extend not only to the disruptive power of transformative technologies like Hadoop, but also to increasingly popular cloud services for databases and data warehouses. To read the complete article, CLICK...

Read More