Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Monday, September 28, 2020
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Pure Storage Upgrades All-Flash Array 

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Pure Storage released the second generation of its all-flash array this week, positioning it as an enterprise-grade storage platform for “capacity-oriented” workloads.

The company (NYSE: PSTG) also claimed its storage platform is the first all-QLC storage array, as in quad-level cell technology. QLC stores 4 bits of data on a single cell, and is promoted as delivering high-density storage at lower cost per gigabyte. Each memory cell can save data across a range of threshold voltages.

The all-QLC storage array is based on Pure Storage DirectFlash technology. The new array is intended to transform “raw QLC into high-endurance [storage] medium” that would also reduce storage costs by as much as 30 percent over hybrid storage arrays, the company said Tuesday (Aug. 25).

Pure storage said its latest flash array delivers up to 24.7 terabytes of capacity, supplemented with 49-Tb QLC modules. The combination “makes all-flash accessible for use cases previously relegated to spinning disk or inefficient hybrid solutions, like backup and data protection, test [and development] environments and workload consolidation,” the company asserted.

Along with boosting storage capacity, the all-QLC array is promoted as handling a range of enterprise workloads that increasingly encounter huge data volumes. That is enabled by the ability to use the same storage operating system for all workloads. Meanwhile, workloads and supporting data along with operational controls are combined in a single display.

The FlashArray platform is also intended to ease data access, management and security across multiple workloads, locations and clouds.

The new all-QLC array follows the storage services vendor’s release earlier this year of an all-flash platform aimed at AI and data analytics workloads. The FlashBlade Purity platformunifies file and object storage, and is designed to share data across applications and workloads.

Pure Storage has been targeting big data flash applications with FlashBlade and other platforms for more than three years. About the time it released its first FlashBlade solid-state array in 2017, market analysts were predicting the all-flash storage sector would top $1 billion in revenues by 2020.

The enterprise flash storage market is currently forecast to grow at an annual rate of 13.67 percent, according to a market forecast released in July. Much of the demand is expected to come from datacenter upgrades from legacy disk storage to all-flash and, increasingly, all-QLC, arrays.

Pure Storage, Mountain View, Calif., said its second generation of FlashArray//C is available now.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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