August 25th, 2011 by Tom Streeter
Pure Storage Comes Out With All-Flash Storage Array
Silicon Valley startup Pure Storage has taken itself out of stealth mode by introducing its first product, an all-flash memory based enterprise-level storage array. The company, founded by veterans of Veritas and Yahoo!, plans to show its flagship product it calls the FlashArray for the first time publicly next week at VMWorld in Las Vegas.
Physically, the FlashArray consists of at least one 2RU controller attached to a 2RU storage shelves that can hold 5.5TBs of SSDs. Each controller can handle four shelves. Initially, Pure Storage is offering base configurations of one controller and one storage shelf as well as two controllers and two shelves. The controllers feature a Fibre Channel port and an empty slot for host connectivity as well as storage shelf and controller interconnect ports. The controllers are built around two Xeon Core 6 CPUs and ship with 46GB of RAM and redundant hot-swappable boot SSDs. Two gigabit Ethernet connections are available for management purposes. The storage shelves contain two NVRAM devices and twenty-two 256GB MLC-based SSDs.
Pure Storage is quick to point out that it engineered the FlashArray from the ground up to use flash memory, not as an adaptation of existing hard-drive based storage array. Their underlying proprietary software platform is called the Purity Operating Environment and is built with features specifically designed to extend the life of the MLC flash memory used in the SSDs. It combines a combination of inline data reduction schemes including global deduplication, compression and thin provisioning. They claim storage ratios of between 5 and 10 to 1 for most applications. They also claim that their architecture is resilient enough to rebuild two damaged SSDs in a matter of minutes. Finally, they claim the unit is able to deliver sub-millisecond latency consistently, regardless of task.
Pricing has not been publicly disclosed, and purchase is currently available only through an Early Access Program.