Pure Storage Enhances Pure-as-a-Service With New Catalog, Tiering, Cisco Capabilities

With the enhancements, Pure Storage is making the cost of storage services built on its technology more transparent, and is enabling channel partners to offer the joint Pure-Cisco FlashStack converged infrastructure as a service.


All-flash storage and data management technology developer Pure Storage has significantly enhanced its Pure-as-a-Service flexible storage consumption model with its first service catalog and the ability easily tier between on-premises and the cloud.

The new version should not be thought of as Pure-as-a-Service 2.0, said Josh Petty, director of product marketing for Pure-as-a-Service.

“It’s really a stake in the ground to define future services,” Petty told CRN.

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Pure-as-a-Service, which was introduced late last year but was based on its previous Evergreen service, provides block, file, and object data management capabilities under a single unified subscription, Petty said.

Pure-as-a-Service is exactly what clients looking for the public cloud “pay as you go” experience need, said Vinu Thomas, chief technology officer at Presidio, a New York-based solution provider which has been one of the vendor’s launch partners for this and other offerings for several years.

“Pure Storage designed it according to what customers demand: to pay for what they use and to switch to an opex (operating expense) model,” Thomas told CRN. “It’s exactly what they’re doing with the public cloud: everything as a service. Only now with Pure Storage they can do it on-prem and in the cloud. It’s an as-a-service model that really aligns with what our customers want. I have to give Pure Storage credit for developing something customers really want.”

Pure-as-a-Service is bringing the idea of doing storage as a service to on-premises environments as well as to Amazon Web Services’ Marketplace, thereby making operate over both public and private clouds, Thomas said.

“With Pure-as-a-Service, you can have a hybrid cloud strategy with on-prem and cloud using the same set of services,” he said. “And it’s not just for file storage. It’s file, block, and object. It’s a really unique offering. So whatever the customer needs, it doesn’t matter what storage they want or where they want to deploy it. It’s one subscription, pay-as-you-go. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Pure Storage has also make Pure-as-a-Service easy from a channel partner perspective, Thomas said.

“This is important,” he said. “Making something simple is usually pretty difficult. It’s quite the irony. But Pure Storage’s partner model is very good at helping us design infrastructure. And it’s profitable.”

New to Pure-as-a-Service is the offering’s first service catalog which gives users granular service selections and breaks down the costs of the services to provide clear, transparent pricing per gigabyte.

The service catalog also allows custom configurations including easily defined tiers, Petty said.

“This is an industry first,” he said. “We’re publishing list prices, including capabilities that are cloud-delivered or delivered on-prem. Customers will know what the cost of a new SAP deployment or SQL deployment in advance.”

Pure-as-a-Service also now offers four tiers of storage, Petty said. This includes new Block Capacity Service Tiers with lower minimum block capacity, a new Block Ultra Service Tier for in-memory databases, a new Block Premium Tier to support new specialized workloads including test/dev and containers, and a new Block Performance tier for hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments.

Pure Storage is also reducing the minimum capacity required to use Pure-as-a-Service, Petty said. “We’re letting customers start small and grow over time,” he said. “This is very important as people look to grow their environments. Capex (capital expenditure) budgets are dwindling.”

Also new is Full Stack-as-a-Service, which is based on the FlashStack converged infrastructure offering jointly developed by Pure Storage and Cisco. This allows partners to deliver the various storage consumption models of Pure-as-a-Service with FlashStack, Petty said.

“We’ve done FlashStack through the channel for some time, and have supported Pure-as-a-Service through FlashStack,” he said. “But what was missing was the flexible consumption model for the compute and networking side. This program is getting the market ready for FlashStack-as-a-Service so that partners can assemble a pure pay-as-you-go FlashStack.”

Many of Pure Storage’s channel partners provide such technologies as Oracle RAC, VMware Horizon View, Citrix XenDesktop, and SAP HANA as a service, Petty said.

“We’re now making it easier for partners to provide these as a service with FlashStack,” he said.

The new additions to Pure-as-a-Service make it easy for customers to purchase storage, Thomas said.

“Regardless of what storage they want, Pure has a solution,” he said. “Most of our customers are on the public cloud in some capacity. The fact they can use one subscription for on-prem and the cloud is important. It gives them flexibility in deployment, flexibility in the type of storage, and flexibility in how they buy.”

Pure Storage remains committed to working exclusively through indirect sales channels, said Andy Martin, vice president of global partner sales for the vendor.

“Everything new with Pure-as-a-Service is delivered by partners,” he said. “And with our new services catalog, we are making our offering more ‘sticky’ for partners.”

“Stickiness” is something the company hears about from partners over and over again, and will continue to be important with Pure-as-a-Service, Petty said.

“We provide the work to keep the lights on, and partners provide the billing services,” he said. “We’re giving partners the ability to see their clients’ requirements month to month. If they see a customer’s block storage requirements rising, they can call the customer and say, ‘We see your block requirements are increasing. You need anything?’”