What to Expect from Pure Storage Accelerate

A week of AI, analytics, and astronauts in Austin

Austin texas on a map

Hordes of storage managers and IT professionals are currently descending upon Austin, Texas for Pure Storage's annual conference, Accelerate. The show is set to focus on a number of key areas for the company, with new product offerings and strategy updates for customers and partners.

So what can we expect from Accelerate 2019? Well, as with many traditionally on-premise hardware companies, expect Pure to be highlighting its cloud credentials. AWS principal technologist Isaiah Weiner has been given a prime-time keynote slot, and CEO Charles Giancarlo is expected to promote the company's Cloud Block Store for AWS management software.

As customers increasingly move to hybrid cloud and multi-cloud estates, companies that have traditionally been seen as on-prem vendors are having to prove that they can support these kinds of deployment. We saw the same thing with VMware over the past year or so, as it increased its public cloud integrations and multi-cloud management stack.

AI will also be a big focus; AI development and operations are among the biggest use-cases for technologies like flash storage the benefits of which Pure will doubtless be trumpeting and the head of IT for AI services company Element AI will also be taking the stage. He'll presumably be talking about AIRI, an AI infrastructure framework co-developed by Pure and Nvidia, of which Element AI is a customer.

Analytics is expected to be a major focus of the show as well. Like AI, data analytics is an area where storage providers like Pure have a compelling story, touting the necessity of high-volume, low-latency appliances for crunching large datasets as quickly as possible.

It's not all about software and use cases, though; the company's FlashBlade and FlashArray ranges is set to get a substantial update in order to support these applications. Rumours suggest that the company could even surprise attendees with an industry-first quad-layer-cell storage array, taking aim at secondary storage appliances. Currently the province of high-capacity, low-cost spinning-platter hard drives, the nearline storage sector has the potential to be upended by a QLC array, radically reducing the cost of flash appliances for these uses.

Storage-class memory support could also be on the cards for some of Pure's products. Infrastructure rival Dell EMC has beaten Pure to the punch in this regard by making its PowerMax unit the first enterprise array to feature the new technology, but it's unlikely that Pure will be far behind.

As for the rest of the show, attendees will be treated to a keynote speech from former astronaut Leland Melvin the man behind the most adorable of NASA's official astronaut portraits and a closing party with legendary 90s alt-rockers Weezer. See you in Austin!

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