Pure Storage CEO Giancarlo Previews Data Center Architecture Simplification And More For This Week's Pure Accelerate


All-flash storage array maker Pure Storage on Monday started the week of its annual Pure Accelerate conference by reporting positive financials for its first fiscal quarter of 2019.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based storage vendor, which in fiscal year 2018 reported its first billion-dollar year, said revenue growth is off to a good start, with sales in the quarter up 40 percent over last year.

A strong channel compared with a busy innovation pipeline has made Pure Storage a leader in the adoption of new technology to support new IT environments, said Pure Storage CEO Charles Giancarlo during his prepared comments during the company's quarterly financial analyst conference.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Pure Storage CEO Charles Giancarlo On Growing In An Extremely Competitive All-Flash Storage Market]

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"We were ahead of the market in all-flash," Giancarlo said. "We were ahead of the market with NVMe. And we're ahead of the market with A.I. (artificial intelligence)."

After reporting earnings, Giancarlo told CRN that this week's Pure Accelerate conference will see the company continue its innovation in few key areas.

The first is a new data center architecture on which a wide range of other new enhancements will be based, which Pure Storage is calling a data-centric architecture umbrella.

"It's about how our customers can construct their data centers to provide more data-as-a-service to their internal customers, but more importantly create a much more agile environment whereby they can much more easily deploy applications to analyze and utilize their data in a way that makes their data center environments much more efficient, more effective, and more agile."

The company will also offer multiple announcements centered on artificial intelligence, Giancarlo said. "I believe [analyst firm] Gartner is saying that about 80 percent of businesses that they talk to are going to have A.I. analyzing their data by the year 2020," he said. "And we're seeing just incredible interest in that area."

Pure Storage will also introduce innovations to make its storage systems more dense, faster, and cost effective for customers, he said.

The move to help enhance data center environments with Pure Storage storage innovations stems in part from the ease-of-use capabilities the company brought to its products, Giancarlo said.

"Many of our customers have said they've gone down from 10 to 20 storage admins for their storage down on one part-timer on us," he said. "So we've created a lot of simplicity and effectiveness inside the data center with respect to storage, and [customers are] asking us to do more for a full stack. And so this data-centric architecture that we are proposing will bring greater simplicity to a private data center environment and also make it more agile, especially with respect to operating in a multi-cloud environment. So it has cloud-like attributes on-prem, which also makes it easier to integrate into a multi-cloud environment."

David Hatfield, president of Pure Storage, said his company added 300 new customers in the last quarter, up about 45 percent over its customer growth a year ago. Headcount rose by 500 over last year to reach 2,300 employees.

The company also saw strength in its growing indirect channel sales as well as in key technology partnerships.

The first of those partnerships was with high-performance GPU-based computing developer Nvidia. The two companies in March unveiled AIRI, a new offering for artificial intelligence and machine learning which combines Pure Storage's FlashBlade all-flash storage array for unstructured data, the Nvidia DGX-1 GPU-based platform for AI, and a new Pure Storage software for scaling the system to up to four nodes.

Hatfield also cited the FlashStack converged infrastructure offering combining Pure Storage all-flash arrays with Cisco UCS servers.

"2018 is shaping up to be our best year ever," he said. "And we're only just beginning."

For its first fiscal quarter 2019, Pure Storage reported revenue of $255.9 million, up 40 percent over the $182.6 million the company reported for its first fiscal quarter 2018.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported a net loss of $64.3 million compared to last year's net loss of $57.2 million.

Looking forward, Pure Storage expects second fiscal quarter 2019 revenue of about $300 million, up significantly from last year's $224.5 million. For its full fiscal year 2019, the company expects revenue of about $1.345 billion, up from last year's $1.023 billion.