Pure Storage today announced ObjectEngine and DirectFlash Fabric, products aimed at improving storage networking performance and data protection and recovery, respectively.
Pure Storage seeks to use Flash memory to normalize data storage between enterprises, public and private clouds, and wherever else it resides in increasingly distributed enterprises. The new products seek to fulfill the mission in two ways: ObjectEngine uses the cloud to make data more accessible, and DirectFlash Fabric increases storage speeds in hybrid cloud environments.
Both products target a distributed IT environment. “For a long time, the accepted narrative was that cloud would eventually eat all on-prem workloads,” Pure Storage spokesperson Joseph Beare told SDxCentral. “Now, that outlook has shifted to a hybrid approach, but these products are all still built to be in competition with each other. That ultimately hurts customers, and limits what they can do with their data. Both of these new functionalities make integration between on-prem and cloud easier and more effective, which allows customers to use their data more strategically.”
Historically, backups are infrequent and all but the most important data is put on the digital back shelf. The backups generally are done using low cost and low functionality approaches, often using tape. This dynamic discourages actively using this data though it may be valuable. Finding what is needed is cumbersome and often bypassed.
Changing that dynamic can lead to better outcomes, Beare wrote in an email. “Today, organizations need real-time access to their historical data to make business decisions, which has shifted backup and restore from an afterthought to a critical business process,” Beare wrote.
The company says that the backup and performance gains are achieved by moving data via ObjectEngine arrays into the cloud, making it instantly accessible. The technology now is available throughout ObjectEngine’s FlashBlade product line, which is built for file and object storage. The platform is built on assets acquired from StorReduce.
The company says that ObjectEngine provides 25 terabytes (TB) per hour of backup performance and 15 TB per hour of restore performance, with a 97 percent reduction in storage and bandwidth costs. It offers 11 nines percent of durability, the company claims, and it also has an S3 interface, an internally replicated global namespace, and scaling capabilities.
The StorReduce acquisition was key because it provided Pure Storage with deduplication technology, Steve McDowell senior analyst for storage and converged systems at Moor Insights & Strategy, told SDxCentral.
“ObjectEngine is an object storage appliance that sits within the datacenter, capable of storing a petabyte of data into one–third of a rack, compressing that data, and sending it to companion software up in Amazon’s cloud,” he said. “The compression that Pure is delivering is impressive, and gives them a huge competitive advantage over Dell’s DataDomain offerings, which is their closest competitor in this space.”
Additionally, DirectFlash Fabric, which was announced in late spring of last year, now is generally available in Purity 5.2, which is the software-defined engine of the company’s block storage FlashArray//X array product line.
Faster communications protocols are a must in a world of artificial intelligence, big data and other data-intensive platforms and applications. One of the protocols developed to meet this need is non-volatile memory express (NVMe), which DirectFlash began using about two years ago.
This approach enables higher performance by replacing serial processing used in older protocols such as SCZI and SAS with parallel processing. DataFlash Fabric takes it a step further, the company says, by introducing NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF). The company’s DataFlash Fabric/NVMe-oF product is built on the RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) protocol.
“NVMe-over-fabric is the future of storage interconnects, and delivering that over ethernet is the where the industry will land,” McDowell said. “It’s still early days and IT shops are just starting to think about moving there. Pure is doing what they do best with this announcement: delivering stellar technology to the market first, giving their early adopter customers, and less innovative competitors, a path to follow.”
While the storage vendor is ahead, the battle is far from over. “Data protection is a very hot market right now, and we’re early in the year,” McDowell said. “Pure is beating their competitors on this front, but their competitors’ solutions are getting long-in-the-tooth. I fully expect that we’ll see competitive announcements from Dell EMC and NetApp in this space over the coming months.”