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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