Home Enterprise Pure Storage STAC Benchmark Test Results Released

Pure Storage STAC Benchmark Test Results Released

by Harold Fritts

Time is money! Especially for financial firms. The heavy hitters in high-frequency and quantitative trading demand—no require—data platforms offering the best performance. Here to help, Pure Storage just submitted a solution for benchmark testing by STAC® (Strategic Technology Analysis Center) to demonstrate the capabilities of the FlashBlade//S500 series.

Time is money! Especially for financial firms. The heavy hitters in high-frequency and quantitative trading demand—no require—data platforms offering the best performance. Here to help, Pure Storage just submitted a solution for benchmark testing by STAC® (Strategic Technology Analysis Center) to demonstrate the capabilities of the FlashBlade//S500 series. The STAC-M3 Benchmark suite is the industry standard for tick-analytics benchmarks.

STAC Benchmark Testing

STAC recently tested its STAC-M3 Benchmarks on a setup featuring Pure Storage’s FlashBlade//S500 and KX’s kdb+ 4.0 DBMS. This setup used NFS version 3 and included a FlashBlade//S500 chassis with 266TiB data distributed across eight Dell PowerEdge R740xd servers. Each server had two Intel Xeon Platinum 8260 CPUs and 256GiB of memory.

The STAC-M3 Benchmarks, known for evaluating database systems managing large market data time series, showed impressive results for baseline (Antuco) and scaling (Kanaga) tests, underscoring Pure Storage’s performance.

This was Pure Storage’s first STAC-M3 benchmark. Unlike others who heavily tune their systems for better results, Pure Storage used a standard FlashBlade//S500 and minimal tuning to show that their customers can get top performance and ease of use for market data platforms. By the way, the Dell PowerEdge R740xd server was introduced in 2017.


Pure’s solution showcased considerable speed gains compared to solutions involving the same number of database servers, three network-attached flash storage nodes, and Compatibility Rev H of the STAC Pack. Pure Storage involved kdb+ 4.0, Compatibility Rev I of the kdb+ STAC Pack, and eight database servers accessing a Pure Storage® FlashBlade//S500 via NFSv3.

Benchmark Results

  • 13 of 17 STAC-M3 Antuco mean-response time benchmarks witnessed improvements, including a 7x speedup in the 10-user theoretical P&L (STAC-M3.β1.10T.THEOPL.TIME).
  • 17 of 24 STAC-M3 Kanaga mean-response time benchmarks exhibited enhancements, such as a 1.3x-1.5x speedup in 50-user 12-day VWABs (STAC-M3.β1.50T.YR{1,2,3,4,5}VWAB-12D-HO.TIME).

Compared to a cloud-based solution, the Pure Storage FlashBlade//S500 outperformed in 9 of 17 Antuco benchmarks and 12 of 24 Kanaga benchmarks, showcasing its speed advantages.


The FlashBlade//S500 series benchmark results validate performance metrics for the financial sector tick data and time series-driven workloads. The platform demonstrated its ability to run complex queries across data sets of any scale with high throughput and low latency.

Additionally, as workloads increased in volume and thread count, the FlashBlade//S500 illustrated the ability to handle highly parallel workloads efficiently. The architecture allowed for seamless scalability, crucial for quantitative and high-frequency trading requirements.

Jack Gidding, CEO of STAC, welcomed Pure Storage to the ranks of technology providers who submit solutions for independent testing against the customer-developed STAC Benchmark standards. He said, “Financial firms on the STAC Benchmark Council designed STAC-M3 to test a representative range of business use cases, and the need for fast and efficient time-series analysis has never been higher.”

STAC-M3 Antuco results were obtained with the entire data set centralized in a single directory, showcasing the efficiency firms can gain by eliminating the need to distribute data across multiple, specific directories for optimal performance. This approach underscores the streamlined and effective data management that Pure Storage’s solution facilitates.

FlashBlade//S500 Features

The FlashBlade//S500 featured in this benchmark is a purpose-built, all-QLC flash, unified fast file and object storage platform. FlashBlade//S is designed to deliver high performance, faster throughput, and continuous uptime. These features are critical for data scientists and quantitative analysts running multi-threaded, time-series workloads.

Key features of FlashBlade//S500 include:

  • Performance and throughput: With the latest version of Purity//FB, the FlashBlade//S500 provides customers with higher performance for analysis, backtesting, and execution for quantitative and high-frequency trading.
  • Modular architecture: The modular architecture facilitates independent scaling of capacity and performance. This flexibility allows organizations to scale their infrastructure to meet the demands of varying workloads.
  • Unified platform:  Combining compute, storage, and networking onto a single unified platform, the FlashBlade//S500 simplifies deployment, management, and upgrades.
  • Native multi-protocol access: Supporting NFS, S3 object, and SMB in a single system, the platform provides native multi-protocol access, underlining its versatility.
  • Maximum efficiency: At only five rack units, the disaggregated architecture scales out capacity and performance linearly to multiple chassis, offering industry-leading space, power, and cooling efficiency.
  • Pure Storage DirectFlash® Modules: A differentiator, DirectFlash Modules eliminates the need for SSDs or HDs in arrays for peak performance, reliability, expandability, security, and simplicity.

Pure Storage Solutions Optimize Your Trading

The FlashBlade platform is just one of many solutions Pure Storage offers to meet the intensive data demands of high-frequency trading. These solutions include:

  • FlashBlade//E:  The FlashBlade//E, visually similar to FlashBlade//S, has improved economics and a different take on scaling. The platform provides all the benefits of all-flash with better economics than disk. It’s a capacity-optimized unified file and object storage platform designed to optimize massive unstructured data growth. Offering optimal energy and capacity efficiency at a multi-petabyte scale makes it ideal for repository workloads required for quant trading, data protection, AI/ML, and more.
  • FlashArray//XL: The FlashArray//XL delivers 100 percent native NVMe storage optimized for performance at scale. With excellent performance density, it allows organizations to consolidate business services, meaning bigger databases, more applications, and more users on fewer arrays.
  • Portworx: A Kubernetes data platform for building, automating, protecting, and securing cloud-native applications, Portworx provides management for mission-critical applications across any cloud and infrastructure with zero downtime or data loss while lowering infrastructure costs.
  • Evergreen: Providing a non-disruptive extensible architecture for upgrades and expansions, Evergreen eliminates concerns regarding service interruptions, decreasing functionality, or expensive and risky data and hardware migrations. Evergreen helps organizations adopt the latest technology, while the Evergreen as-a-service portfolio delivers unmatched flexibility in purchasing and consuming data storage.

In the fiercely competitive high-frequency and quant trading landscape, the Pure Storage FlashBlade//S500 series shines as a reliable, high-performance solution. The STAC-M3 benchmark testing results demonstrate the platform’s capability to deliver better performance and scalability, addressing the unique needs of the financial sector.

Trading firms and financial institutions seeking high-performance data solutions should explore the detailed benchmark results in the STAC Report.

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