Pure Storage are an all-flash enterprise storage company. I first met these guys at VMworld 2011 and was quite impressed by their product. Like many Flash Array vendors at the time, there wasn’t a great amount of vSphere integration features. However, with this latest release of Purity v2.5, Pure Storage are addressing this and more. I had a chance to meet and discuss these new features with Matt Kixmoeller & Ravi Venkat of Pure Storage recently. Not only are they now VMware-Ready certified, but they’ve got a whole bunch of integration features. Let’s have a look at the features that they have added to their new release.
vCenter Web Client Plugin
For those of you who have not being paying a lot of attention to the 5.1 announcements, the current C# vSphere client is being deprecated. VMware is moving to a new web client. So it is great to see that Pure have already announced their array management plugin for the new web client. There are a lot of cool management and monitoring features in the client for Pure Storage arrays, including the ability to show various levels of space consumption at the VMDK, VMFS and at the array back-end level. It also shows the gains achieved from dedupe & compression, as well as the ability to reclaim stale or stranded space via the UNMAP primitive. I believe Pure Storage are the first array vendor to have a web client management plugin available for vSphere 5.1. Great job guys.
When I met with Matt at VMworld 2011, Pure Storage only supported Fibre Channel interconnects. With this new release, Pure Storage arrays will now also support both FC & iSCSI. I think this is a very good move. Many vendors these days support lots of different protocols on the same array, and many customers may feel that an IP based network is more desirable than a dedicated FC infrastructure, especially with the advent of 10Gb (and faster networks).
This is always welcome. The ability to offload tasks to the storage array rather than consume resources on the ESXi host is such a great idea, and it nice to see Pure Storage support the VAAI block primitives. When we spoke, Pure had VAAI certification for two primitives on their FA-320 arrays. They now support the ATS (Atomic Test & Set) primitive which is the replacement for SCSI reservations as well as the Write Same/Block Zero primitive. There is no XCOPY support yet (for cloning) but one assumes that this is a work in progress. Great to see.
Pure have introduced a new ZeroSnap Snapshots technology in this release too. These snapshots are thin, compressed and deduped. Any of these snapshots can then be converted into a new volume for backup/recovery purposes. Because of their lightweight nature and the underlying technology, Pure are claiming to be able to create 1,000 snapshots in a minute.
Pure Storage do not have their own replication technology just yet. However, there is full support for VMware’s vSphere Replication product which can replicate Virtual Machines across different storage arrays without the need for a third party replication software.
VMworld EMEA & Europe in general
Pure Storage are going to be at VMworld EMEA 2012, exhibiting their flash array and the new features discussed here. I’d urge anyone interested in flash technology to go and see them. Another cool thing of course is that Pure Storage have announced their intention to expand into EMEA and are actively seeking an EMEA HQ. You can find out more about the new Purity 2.5 features here.
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