Pure gives its flash boxes some 3D TLC

And tries to out-Nimble’s Infosight to handle customer probs via analytics

Pure Storage wants to be its flash array customers’ best friend forever with announcements lowering flash storage cost and improving its availability.

The Silicon Valley biz is now supporting 3D TLC flash, the three-bits-per-cell stuff that has an endurance long enough for enterprise use. Other flash array suppliers using this technology include HP Enterprise, Kaminario, and Dell.

Pure buyers can mix and match MLC (two-bits-per-cell) and TLC SSDs in the same system, we're told; a Pure Storage FlashArray//m box (no, not a typo) can hold 44TB of TLC NAND. The company says its FlashCare tech means TLC has the same lifespan and performance as MLC flash.

Pure reckons that, with its data reduction software, "a fully scaled FlashArray//m system costs as low as $1.50/GB with all software included, making all-flash storage reliably cost less than disk for more and more workloads."

The biz says its new Pure1 Global Insight software alerts its support staff to growing weaknesses in systems, “and preemptively protects customers from problems and the risk of potential downtime.”

Its system does this by monitoring configuration and environmental changes, and detecting performance and capacity anomalies. When a pattern emerges and matches a fingerprint in a database of known or anticipated problems, Pure support can swing into action and put the array right.

With Pure1 Global Insight it seems to be want to match or out-nimble Nimble Storage and its Infosight support program, which sets the industry benchmark for array sensor data input and analysis.

As evidence of this, Pure says it “assumes the ownership burden in support, helping solve problems, even if they result from other vendors’ products.” When support tickets are raised automatically, customers bypass first level support and always reach live Pure Storage personnel who can help. The company also says it remotely manages more than 90 per cent of customer system upgrades.

Pure is also announcing its Pure1 Capacity Planner to help organizations “forecast capacity consumption over time to estimate when they may need more, and identify usage trends to better plan and manage costs. New insight predicts when the array will hit capacity.”

The company has also extended its converged infrastructure FlashStack with options for Oracle and SAP.

What Pure seems bent on doing is offering a better level of service to help differentiate its boxes and keep its growth rates up. The company quotes a Satmetrix-certified Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 79, which is better than Apple’s iPhone at 63. General high-tech vendors score an average of 16 according to Pure. Samsung as a brand scores 54. An NPS score reveals how likely a customer is to recommend a vendor, and the higher the number the better.

Pure CMO Jonathan Martin waxed enjoyably lyrical about this in a canned quote: “Happiness and storage are rarely used in the same sentence; but to know we have so many customers raving to their peers about the impact of Pure Storage on their organisations makes us incredibly proud. Willingness to recommend a product is the ultimate expression of happiness." Raving to their peers indeed. Pure sure wants to be best friends forever with its customers.

Predictive support, powered by the cloud-based Pure1 Global Insight is available to every FlashArray model, Purity Operating Environment version, and support level. Pure Storage will begin shipping the 44TB 3D TLC Expansion Shelf in Q1 2016. Pure1 Capacity Planner is available instantly and at no additional cost to all Pure Storage customers. ®

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