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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Accelerating to a Data-centric Architecture with Pure

Having taken a few days break from the color orange, I’m ready to share my thoughts on Pure Accelerate. The show started with Pure Storage CEO Charlie Giancarlo talking about stools, with the three legs of a stool representing the core components of the data center: compute, networking, and storage. We were left with a new Pure vision anchored in storage, but focused on more than storage: a data-centric architecture that addresses the simplicity, agility, and performance requirements of the modern business. So what’s the data-centric architecture? An architecture that helps organizations consolidate and simplify the deployment and management of a globally-dispersed IT environment, respond to the business in real time, and scale and consume resources on demand with built-in autonomy, and that handles next-generation applications and workloads, and embraces the customers wants in terms of where those applications and workloads run, whether on-premises, in the cloud, or across multiple clouds. And while aspects of that vision are still aspirational for Pure, the focus on the future and where IT consumers will be in a year or two is exactly what got them to where they are today, which is constantly growing with a run rate over $1 billion dollars and all signs pointing up. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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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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Pure Storage: Empowering Artificial Intelligence

Today, Pure Storage announced the release of AI-Ready Infrastructure (AIRI), a major move in serving the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning space. The newly announced solution combines Pure Storage FlashBlade and NVIDIA DGX-1 technology. According to Pure Storage, it is the industry’s first integrated AI-ready infrastructure for deploying deep learning at scale. With AI and machine learning still relatively nascent technologies, the first question that comes to mind might be, “Why an integrated solution, and not just a reference architecture?” I can give you three answers: To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Pure Gold: Flash Vendor Predicts 30%-Plus CAGR, $35-Billion TAM

SAN FRANCISCO: Pure Storage has made it to the big leagues, having outfought, out-thought and outlasted the hordes of competitors in the enterprise flash storage market, which is experiencing explosive growth in the rapidly emerging digital transformation/big data and analytics/Internet of Things world. No longer relegated to the ‘Others’ category, it is a top-five player that looks too big to buy (Dell EMC, like James Bond, proves you should Never Say Never Again, but an acquisition — or at least a suitable acquisitor — appears unlikely) and too small to thrive without some help, typically a significant barrier to entry like proprietary (and popular) intellectual property, large installed base or deep pockets. With both the $1-billion revenue plateau and its first quarterly profit within reach in calendar 2017, the Puritan elders — AKA its senior executives — are predicting even bigger things to come, like at least three more years of 30%-plus revenue growth, surpassing the $2-billion annual revenue mark by 2020. That prediction was just one of the items announced to more than 3,000 customers, partners and staff (with another 2,000 online, for a total increase of 300% over last year’s inaugural event), at this week’s Pure//Accelerate 2017. Unlike the overall enterprise storage market, which continues to see capacity shipment growth at the expense of revenue and margin growth, the flash market, especially all flash arrays (AFAs), is growing explosively — 48% in the first quarter. Sales were a little over $1.3 billion, with Pure Storage holding down fourth place with 12% market share, behind Dell EMC (29%), NetApp (21%), HPE (17%), and comfortably ahead of IBM (7%). “All-flash array is the only segment growing in the external storage market space,” said Jimmy Yu, Dell’Oro Group vice president, in a statement. “While the total market for external storage has contracted for the past two years, and will likely decline again this year, all flash storage system sales are reaching all new highs. We predict all-flash array revenue to grow approximately 40 percent in 2017 to reach nearly $7 billion while disk and hybrid storage system revenues decline about 14 percent.” AFA’s future is looking even brighter, according to both flash guru Jim Handy, GM of semiconductor research group, Objective Analysis, and Gartner. Handy expects a manufacturing breakthrough in high-capacity 3D NAND chips next year that will further lower AFA prices. Gartner is predicting that half of all data centers will only use AFA for primary storage by 2020, with the market growing to $9.67 billion. Pure believes the total addressable market for its faster solid-state storage arrays is $35 billion. Dave Vellante, chief analyst of Wikibon, agrees the...

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