Pure Storage Targets Unstructured Data With New FlashBlade//E
Joseph F. Kovar
‘Organizations are projected to grow their unstructured data by ten times the current amount by 2030. That growth is unsustainable with the current disk-based storage technology. So we introduced flash-based storage for multi-petabyte unstructured workloads at the same cost as disk-based systems,’ says Amy Fowler, general manager of Pure Storage’s FlashBlade business unit.
Storage technology developer Pure Storage Wednesday expanded its all-flash storage array line to unstructured data with the introduction of its new FlashBlade//E.
FlashBlade//E is an all-flash, scale-out system aimed at storing businesses’ ever-expanding unstructured data while keeping cost competitive with hard disk-based storage, said Amy Fowler, general manager of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company’s FlashBlade business unit.
“Organizations are projected to grow their unstructured data by ten times the current amount by 2030,” Fowler told CRN, citing a recent report by NBC. “That growth is unsustainable with the current disk-based storage technology. So we introduced flash-based storage for multi-petabyte unstructured workloads at the same cost as disk-based systems.”
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The new FlashBlade//E is similar to Pure Storage’s recently-introduced FlashBlade//S. The all-flash array FlashBlade//S, introduced last year with low-cost QLC flash technology, is modular in design, with separate paths for upgrading compute for increased performance and upgrading capacity for larger workloads.
Fowler said the difference is that only the initial chassis of FlashBlade//E includes compute capabilities, with additional chassis used to only add capacity. That, she said, keeps the cost to under 20 cents per gigabyte including services over a three-year period. However, she said, that does not include the cost of data reduction.
“The FlashBlade//S offers best-in-class performance for places where disk can’t do the job,” she said. “The FlashBlade//E is for workloads where disk performance is good enough, letting it compete with hard disk-based and hybrid disk-based systems.”
The Pure Storage FlashBlade//E is environmentally friendly in that it requires much less footprint and power than hard disk-based systems, Fowler said.
“Hard disk systems are physically very large, and have high energy consumption,” she said. “Thousands of hard drives are needed for larger environments. But they don’t provide the kind of enhanced services that flash storage provides. Flash is substantially more reliable than disk, but uses only one-fifth the power, produce 85 percent less e-waste, and reduces operational costs by 60 percent.”
FlashBlade//E has a number of use cases, including unstructured data content stores, data lakes, data protection repositories, and optimization of large files for technical computing, Fowler said.
“We have been talking about the all-flash data center for over 10 years,” she said. “Now we’re finally taking flash storage to a part of the data center where it has not been an option before.”
The FlashBlade//E is slated to be generally available by late April. It will be available for sale, or for deployment via the Pure Storage Evergreen//One storage-as-a-service subscription, Fowler said.