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Pure Storage Touts The Benefits Of All-Flash Infrastructure

Max ‘Beast from the East’ Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope.

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There’s no reason not to swap your hard drives for Flash memory, says CEO Scott Dietzen during his visit to London

There are no barriers to adoption of Flash storage remaining, announced Pure Storage CEO Scott Dietzen at a Thursday event in London. He said that today, any company can afford to swap its hard drives for SSDs, and claimed that thanks to its aggressive pricing, Pure Storage is growing faster than any other stage company in history.

The announcement was made as part of a massive marketing campaign across Europe, which attempts to convince businesses to try the new technology.

“Replace a fridge with a microwave”

It’s been a year since Pure Storage opened its European headquarters in London. Even though you could classify it as a hardware vendor, all of the company’s intellectual property is actually in software and data reduction algorithms.

Scott DietzenHard drive technology is almost six decades old, and according to Dietzen, mechanical storage has outlived its usefulness. “In virualised cloud workloads, disks spend 97 percent of their time and energy turning and moving the arm, and only three percent of the time working for your business. That imbalance is holding back so much of the things you want to accomplish in your data centres,” said the CEO.

All-flash infrastructure has several benefits. First of all, there’s speed: “With Flash in a business environment, you can take processes that would take hours, days, even weeks [to complete], and you can start running them in real-time.

“We have users that have moved to a VDI model, where their tablet or laptop is faster than a laptop with a local SSD. So we’re actually beating the consumer experience for business applications.”

In addition, Flash memory consumes a lot less power than spinning disk, resulting in energy savings. Finally, there’s the reduced hardware footprint which can free valuable space inside the data centre. According to Dietzen, in terms of size, switching to Flash is like swapping a fridge for a microwave.

However, the CEO had little love for hybrid environments that combine Flash and traditional hard drives, claiming that “the industry has been oversold on the benefits of Flash” as a tool to speed up ageing infrastructure.

Pure Storage says it can provide fast, durable Flash for the same amount of money it would take to continue buying disk thanks to its proprietary compression and deduplication techniques.

According to Peter Gadd, director for Pure Storage EMEA, if the industry continues to develop at the current pace, the company could soon offer flash at a lower price point than the same amount of storage on disk.

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