"Pure evangelist Vaughn Stewart said Pure is taking flash into new and uncharted territory. That could be marketing BS, or it could be literally true."
I think we all know which one of those it is.
Pure Storage is putting ex-NetApp FlashRay engineering head Brian Pawlowski into a chief architect role. Pawlowski, known as Beepy – BP, geddit? – left NetApp when his stand-alone, revolutionary, top-of-the-AFA-pack FlashRay project was demoted. He promptly joined Pure Storage, where his new responsibilities have been revealed …
This suggestion makes the most sense to me. Branching out into the hyper-converged space would be a huge tangent from their core business, but rearchitecting the array to use flash DIMMs or PCIe flash seems like it would massively improve performance in a variety of ways. SSDs in an AFA seem like a grossly inefficient way of providing flash RAM storage; they're more suited to providing flash storage in a hybrid array.
How does a company preaching the benefits of SSDs and negatives of ground up design then switch to the latter? Answer - do what Oracle do and claim that they invented it when others are already doing it. If pure doesnt move to groundup design then it will struggle in the tech department as ssd manufacturers move away from the current sata/sas implementation. However it will be 1st gen tech where ibm and violin memory have been doing this for years.
This limitation of Pure's design is it builds off of the midrange, modular, scale-up, failover controller design which has dominated midrange storage systems for two decades.
This "vertical" design makes sense when the bottleneck is the disk drives, controllers represent a significant part of the cost, and scaling over time is accomplished by adding disk trays. But will flash, the controller is the bottleneck, and the flash media represents the more significant part of the cost.
Scale out, or "horizontal" designs make more sense with all-flash. XtremIO has an interesting scale-out design, where essentially each disk tray has a dedicated pair of controllers. Solidfire also has an interesting scale-out design, but does not have parity RAID, which, given the high per-GB cost of flash media, creates challenges. Kaminario may have the most interesting scalability story.
If Pure can build a vertical and horizontal scaling design similar to Kaminario, that would significantly enhance their product.
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