Page 2 of 3
The ability to bring pricing down to that of disk-based arrays stems from a couple of technologies developed by Pure Storage.
The first is the fact that Pure Storage designed its arrays from the ground-up to work with the multi-level cell (MLC) Flash technology, which when compared to more robust single-level cell (SLC) or enhanced MLC (eMLC) technology is much lower priced, Kixmoeller said. The company uses software to ensure the reliability of data on MLC Flash technology.
"We don't use any Flash, but the low-end of the MLC Flash technology," he said. "Most companies use SLC or eMLC Flash because their architectures are not designed for the economics of MLC. And it's not just MLC for us, but future, less robust technology like TLC [triple-level cell]. We follow the consumer market, and TLC will be the dominant Flash technology next year."
The Pure Storage FlashArray 2.0 also features both in-line and global data deduplication in combination with a non-volatile RAM (NV-RAM) cache that runs continuously, Kixmoeller said.
"Competitors often tell their users to turn their data reduction technology off in order to increase performance," he said. "With our arrays, you can't turn data reduction off. Dedupe and compression are absolutely critical for enterprise-class Flash arrays. If you dedupe and compress the data, it cuts down on the number of writes, which helps significantly improve Flash memory reliability."
As a result, the Pure Storage FlashArray 2.0 is slated to meet a price of between $5 and $10 per GB, which is similar to the prices for a high-end disk array with a Flash-based cache, Kixmoeller said. In fact, during the trial period, prices were actually in the $4 to $8 per GB range, he said.
The company's Flash-based arrays also come with other features to provide enterprise-class reliability and scalability, Kixmoeller said. These include a clustered controller with InfiniBand connectivity, an active-active controller, hot swap components, global RAID protection across the entire array, and no single point of failure. They also encrypt 100 percent of the data stored in the array, he said.
Next: VAR Sees Big Potential In All-Flash Array Market