Pure Storage beefs up cloud support

New cloud data management tools for Azure and AWS hit general availability

Pure Storage has today announced the general availability of new data management tools for Azure and AWS as part of its annual Accelerate conference in Austin, Texas, improving its public cloud support and further strengthening its position in the multi-cloud space.

Starting with AWS, the company has announced that its Cloud Block Store for AWS product, first revealed last year, is now generally available for all customers. The product is a wholly software-based offering, allowing customers to use the company's Purity management software to manage their AWS storage.

The initial beta version of Cloud Block Store used EC2 compute instances with EBS as a storage layer, but the configuration has since changed. As Pure Storage vice president of strategy Matt Kixmoeller explained, the conclusion was that EBS was not reliable enough for the product's requirements.

"As we worked closely with Amazon, what we found was that EBS didn't have the reliability characteristics that a Tier 1 storage array needs," he said. "In particular, there are challenges around coordinated failures, where multiple volumes can fail at once. And so we completely re-architected the backend layer to run natively on S3. S3 is Amazon's most durable, most reliable storage tier by far 11 nines of durability."

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"And so we use EBS as a cache to deliver high performance, but persist data on S3. And if you look at most customers, they really treat S3 as their cloud storage. So this solution becomes a way for us to bring a Tier 1 block experience to use in the Amazon cloud storage S3, that customers are most familiar with, and most trust."

Part of the goal with the new service is to enable workloads to move seamlessly in both directions; from the cloud to the data centre, as well as from the data centre to the cloud. It uses the same management tools and APIs as Pure's on-prem management software, as well as featuring the ability to run across two availability zones in active/active configuration.

Cloud Block Store for AWS will be available via the AWS Marketplace on either a month-to-month or a one-year contract. Customers who want something more long term can get contracts ranging from one to three years by purchasing through 'Pure-as-a-Service', which is a rebranded version of the company's Evergreen Storage Service, now effectively acting as a subscription-based consumption program.

The other major cloud announcement was the availability of CloudSnap for Azure, a built-in backup mechanism for FlashArray products which lets the Purity management software seamlessly and transparently move snapshots to the public cloud. CloudSnap was initially launched last year with AWS support, but has now been expanded to Azure as well. This, Kixmoeller said, was an excellent example of Pure's intentions to extend its tools to a multitude of different cloud providers.

"Our strategy at Pure is to absolutely deliver these services as multi-cloud," he said. "So Cloud Block Store, we started with Amazon - that's the natural place to start. But as we see more and more adoption, and that gets more mature, and we will of course proliferate to other clouds."

"It's not an easy thing for us to snap our fingers and have it available on all three clouds, because we're doing the hard work of integrating it deeply. And so this is our first example of bringing something to a second cloud."

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As part of the show, the company also announced a capacity-driven flash-based secondary storage appliance with quad-layer cell memory, as well as a new plug-in DirectMemory module for FlashArray//X appliances offering an instant performance boost.

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