Will AI Keep Pure “growing like a bat out of hell”?
May31

Will AI Keep Pure “growing like a bat out of hell”?

Having accelerated from start-up to top-five vendor in the red-hot flash array market, Pure Storage is looking for new heights to scale. While it still has plenty of opportunity remaining in the storage segment, it is trying to broaden its horizons with a number of new initiatives, including a data-centric architecture, storage as a service and one of the latest buzzword-bingo catchphrases, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). “We were ahead of the market in all-flash,” said Pure Storage CEO Charlie Giancarlo in the earnings call earlier this month. “We were ahead of the market with NVMe. And we’re ahead of the market with AI.” At last week’s PURE//ACCELERATE 2018, its third annual customer/partner event, the company continued its AI push, which first surfaced with the NVIDIA partnership in March. It also made a number of other announcements intended to broaden its reach beyond just faster, smaller, less-complex and more-energy-efficient storage, which has fuelled its meteoric rise, including 40% year-over-year revenue growth last quarter.. “We’re guiding generally to 30+% year-on-year. We aspire to grow just as fast as we possibly can. Part of that is the market, part of that is one’s ability as a public company to scale without wanting to sacrifice quality,” said Giancarlo. “Last year was a great milestone for the company. We also have $1 billion in the bank. We are cash flow positive and are growing like a bat out of hell,” he added. “We’re not just enterprise storage. We’re in a very great place.” Pure faces stiff competition in its core business, the c (7%). However, it’s even further behind in the overall enterprise storage market, which rang up sales of $13.6 billion in Q4, compared to AFA’s $1.9 billion. Although it is looking at a total addressable market of $35 billion, the lights are much brighter in the AI segment, which is expected to generate $1.2 trillion in economic value this year, up 70% from 2017, and projected to add just under $4 trillion by 2022. “The interest in AI by corporations is just off the charts,” said Giancarlo in a recent interview. “At Pure, we are able to…feed GPUs, high speed applications, and AI environments — at the speed they want that data to provide the intelligence companies want to make their businesses better.” He said since AI is all about crunching huge amounts of data, older, tiered storage systems that rank data by age aren’t nimble enough to grant researchers quick access to even the oldest data sets. “These days, people want access to data, whether it was last week or last year or last decade,” Giancarlo said. Pure...

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Flash, AI Help Fuel Record Growth, Bright Future For Pure Storage
May24

Flash, AI Help Fuel Record Growth, Bright Future For Pure Storage

SAN FRANCISCO: I’m in the City by the Bay attending PURE//ACCELERATE 2018, the third annual customer/partner event from Pure Storage, and it appears the enterprise flash storage vendor couldn’t have scripted the timing any better. In addition to its new partnership with NVIDIA — AI-Ready Infrastructure (AIRI), a ‘major move in serving the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) space’ — and its ongoing relationship with Cisco — i.e. as an Original Storage Manufacturer (OSM) — on Monday the company reported Q1 revenue of $255.9 million, up 40% YoY. “Pure has delivered another strong quarter as we lead the industry in delivering new data-centric architectures that enable enterprises to succeed both today and tomorrow,” said Pure CEO Charles Giancarlo, in a prepared statement. “The combination of our innovative business model, first-to-market technology innovations, and focus on customer success drove continued momentum in Q1.” In addition to record revenues, the company announced it had added 300 new customers during the quarter, bringing its installed base to amost 5,000 organizations. It forecast an even better Q2 — $296 million to $304 million — and approximately $1.345 billion for the year, up from 2017’s $1.023 billion, as well as a slightly higher net loss, $64.3 million compared to last year’s net loss of $57.2 million. “We were ahead of the market in all-flash,” said Giancarlo in the earnings call. “We were ahead of the market with NVMe. And we’re ahead of the market with A.I. (artificial intelligence).” At last year’s event — more than 3,000 customers, partners and staff (with another 2,000 online, for a total increase of 300% over 2016’s inaugural event) — the vendor was predicting at least three more years of 30%-plus revenue growth, surpassing the $2-billion annual revenue mark by 2020. It also stated that the total addressable market for its faster solid-state storage arrays is $35 billion, but according to Dave Vellante, chief analyst of Wikibon, Pure was involved in a knife fight, and a market ripe for consolidation. “If it can stay ahead of what I call the ‘storage cartel,’ it will emerge a winner.” Shortly after last year’s event the company hired Giancarlo, formerly the Cisco CTO and then Avaya CEO,  who took over as CEO in late August when Scott Dietzen was bumped up to chairman of the board. Late last year he told Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst with ZK Research, that if “you had asked me at the beginning of 2017 if I would join a storage company, I would have said probably not. I was caught up in the conventional wisdom that the storage industry had reached its zenith,...

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Robotics: Is NVIDIA…That Truly Thinks Strategically?

Around a decade ago virtually all the tech companies, seeing Apple’s success with the iPhone and Google’s response with Android, were convinced the future was in mobile phones and almost everyone was wrong. NVIDIA, however, pivoted early shifting massive resources to autonomous cars and ended up becoming one of the few firms that wasn’t badly damaged by a failed mobile strategy. They have since been followed into this area by others, but Autonomous cars are just the tip of the iceberg, this same technology can be used in autonomous aircraft and robots. While other firms also have drone efforts, NVIDIA was the first to see the connection between the drones and cars and bridge the efforts so that both benefitted from what the other did. However, with robotics, it seemed that tech firms in general didn’t even think that this was a category they were remotely interested in even though it is likely at some point each of us eventually get one. Once again NVIDIA stood up this week with partner to create the software needed for these robots which are also connected to their autonomous car and aircraft efforts and all should benefit from this inclusive strategy. But it strikes me that NVIDIA is the only US tech firm that seems to be aggressively looking at where the tech market is going next and getting ahead of the curve as opposed to what others seem to be doing and following a peer’s lead into a new market. Let’s talk about that this week. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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..How NVIDIA Flourished… & Yahoo’s Board Killed Yahoo

There are times when I truly wonder if boards are staffed with idiots. The contrast between NVIDIA and Yahoo is stark. NVIDIA is a hardware-based company in an internet world and Yahoo is one of the founding internet companies, yet NVIDIA is the fastest growing company in the Fortune 500 and Yahoo may not be around by the end of the year. At the heart of why NVIDIA is doing very well and Yahoo is failing is the application of common business practices and excellence in execution. In short, things we learn in business 101. This isn’t to say what NVIDIA has accomplished is easy—far from it—and like every company in this space the near rabid and ultimately pointless move to mobile almost did NVIDIA in but it never faltered or lost focus on what it is. At the heart of all of this is the bad idea that you don’t need subject matter experts at the top of a company—something that this comparison should disprove definitively. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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New IBM Software Toolkit Supercharges Deep Learning

A few weeks ago, IBM launched a new POWER-based data center solution for High Performance Computing (HPC) applications, including artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning and advanced analytics. The Power System S822LC is a Linux-based offering that leverages a new POWER8 chip and NVIDIA’s NVLink interconnect technology optimized for the Power architecture. Via NVLink, IBM’s Power server architecture can be tightly integrated with NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture and the company’s Tesla P100 GPUs. Why is this a big deal? Because the new Power System S822LC solutions avoid the potential bottlenecks that are commonly associated with conventional PCIe interfaces. That’s a good thing in HPC applications that require sustained, muscular data throughput. But it also means that HPC systems utilizing Power System S822LC hardware can deliver considerably higher performance than similarly configured Intel-based systems with PCIe. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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