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Pure Storage CEO: NetApp, Dell, HPE Aren’t True Cloud Storage

Joseph F. Kovar

‘[HPE GreenLake and Dell Apex] are just financial models to enable customers pay a subscription for storage rather than as capex. Or rather it‘s really more like a lease model in most of those cases. Whereas we’re bringing technology into the data center that allows the customer to both manage and to offer storage services and data management to their developers as APIs,’ says Pure Storage CEO Charles Giancarlo.

Upping The Storage Ante

Pure Storage has had a stunning ride from a startup all-flash storage array vendor a few years ago to become today one of the top storage vendors and only one of two major standalone storage developers. The growth of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company stems from a early decision to focus on developing software optimized for flash storage rather than commodity SSDs, and on hardware optimized to run that software, according to Pure Storage CEO Charles “Charlie” Giancarlo.

Giancarlo, in an exclusive meeting with CRN, said Pure Storage’s approach to making storage capacity on its all-flash storage arrays available as pooled storage available for use anywhere from on-premises to public and private clouds is different from that of its competitors. Technologies like Dell Apex and Hewlett Packard Enterprise GreenLake are little more than changes in how storage is financed, and both along with NetApp still require storage to be tied to an application stack.

“With our competitors’ arrays, the customers are still taking the storage systems, physically tying them to their application environments, managing them on their own,” he said. “And when their developers need storage, there‘s a lot of manual processes in the middle for the IT department to offer storage to the developers for a new application environment.”

[Related: PURE STORAGE CEO: NO STOPPING EVOLUTION TO CLOUD, FLASH]

Pure Storage, on the other hand, makes storage services available as needed via APIs, Giancarlo said.

“We provide a software management environment whereby IT defines a set of data storage services for their developers, and then the developers get access to them via APIs,” he said. “No need for a phone call, no need for physical rearrangement. It‘s very similar to the way Amazon or Azure offers their storage services, but [they do it] just within those clouds. We do it across the hybrid cloud.”

Given Pure Storage’s growth, it’s not unreasonable to expect the company to eventually rise to the top of the storage industry despite its competitors’ much larger sizes, Giancarlo said.

“We‘re the one company that looks at data storage like it’s high technology rather than a commodity,” he said. “And we’re the one company that‘s looking to bring a cloud operating model to the private and hybrid cloud world by allowing data to look to the IT organization as just a pool of storage, and allows their developers to get access to data storage via APIs.”

For a deeper dive into Pure Storage and into Giancarlo’s thoughts on the storage industry and the changing macroeconomic environment, click through the slideshow.

 
Learn More: Cloud Storage
Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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