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In Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a supercomputer named Deep Thought quantifies all of the information in existence to deduce the answer to the ultimate question– the answer to life and everything around us. The book adaptation portrays Deep Thought to be a city-sized supercomputer, tasked with the impossible challenge of answering this ultimate question. The computer spends seven and a half million years to come up with an abstract answer—42—that leaves observers clueless at the end of its calculation.
Fiction aside, the portrayal of Deep Thought in terms of its size and computational horsepower is something to ponder; its depiction personifies the sheer magnitude of information in existence and quantifies the amount of power that is needed to process a data set as large as the one shown in the movie. The real world that we live in today is no different, flooded by quintillion bytes of information flowing through numerous data farms, on-premise workstations, cloud architectures, IoT peripherals, and mobile devices. While implementing such data channels, enterprises are faced with multiple challenges pertaining to data management, in congruence with building efficient storage solutions that address varied business needs.
"Pure Storage and Cisco have created a series of Cisco Validated Designs (CVD’s) that allow customers to leverage tried and tested architectures"
Ten years ago, John ‘Coz’ Colgrove and John Hayes observed that storage devices/solutions were continuing to get bigger and slower, and decided to revamp the storage industry by laying the cornerstone to Pure Storage. The co-founders went all-in on flash storage back then, banking their hopes on how flash would be a game-changer in the digital economy. They used a consumer-grade flash and employed software optimization to remove redundancies and overcome technical challenges such as durability and scalability. These aspirations were fueled by the commitment to simplicity, which enabled the two to deliver better performance, durable infrastructures, failure-proof storage configurations, and use case-specific data management solutions.
Today, flash has become one of the mainstream avenues for data storage, and the combined efforts of Colgrove and Hayes have manifested into an organization that delivers highly-scalable and flexible enterprise data solutions to suffice multiple business requirements. Pure Storage upholds the duo’s vision of bringing quality, serviceability, and ease of use that is demanded by the enterprise world for data-driven business transformations.
Maximizing Enterprise Performance through Flash
Bolstered by its alliance with Cisco, Pure Storage has developed solutions—FlashStack™, FlashArray, and FlashBlade—for critical business environments. These solutions not only draw the merits of flash to enhance business efficiency but are also customizable to address various use cases. FlashStack™, the converged infrastructure solution, brings the Pure Storage data-centric architecture to customers’ data centers, all the while delivering maximum performance and reliability for business-critical applications, DevOps, and modern analytics.
Our solutions consolidate business operations for many organizations, be it optimization of cost and workloads, deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning (ML) frameworks, managing Converged Infrastructures (CI) or the Hybrid Cloud experience
FlashStack™ combines the latest innovations in computational horsepower, networking, and storage components into a single, pre-validated architecture that accelerates time to deployment, lowers overall IT costs and reduces deployment risks. “Packaged and supported by joint Cisco and Pure Storage partners, FlashStack™ components interoperate with modules such as FlashArray, and FlashBlade for predictable performance and reliability, reducing the time to market for all IT infrastructure projects,” says Mark Jobbins, Field CTO of Pure Storage, APJ.
The simple, no trade-off architecture of FlashStack™ eliminates disparate hardware silos without disruptions, downtime, or any impact on performance. The infrastructure can be customized to both traditional and converged operating models, such that clients can consolidate business operations based on their current requirements. Moreover, the proven and validated architecture of FlashStack™ ensures successful application deployment for clients, thereby shortening the time to market interval substantially; it lowers total cost of ownership (TCO), saving clients up to 46 percent of the traditional infrastructure overheads. “Pure Storage and Cisco have created a series (currently 24 released and one pending) of Cisco Validated Designs (CVD’s) that allow customers to leverage tried and tested architectures that will be supported by either Pure Storage, Cisco or a FlashStack™ certified partner,” adds Jobbins. Designed for cloud ecosystems, FlashStack™ features full integration capabilities with cloud platforms from Cisco, VMware, OpenStack and similar frameworks.
Addressing the aforementioned use cases, Jobbins talks about how Pure Storage caters to four diverse areas of applicability. “Our solutions consolidate business operations for many organizations, be it optimization of cost and workloads, deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning (ML) frameworks, managing Converged Infrastructures (CI), Hybrid Cloud experiences or removal of storage and networking barriers for a modern data exchange experience,” elaborates Jobbins. These four use cases are derived from Pure Storage’s FlashStack™, FlashArray, and FlashBlade solutions, which collectively enable business transformations for clients.
Primarily, the FlashStack™ and FlashArray solutions deliver always-on, mission-critical infrastructure while slashing deployment time and risk. They minimize the TCO while expanding into additional workload tiers, handling them with ease, without tuning requirements. Similarly, FlashStack™ can be optimized for AI/ML pilot programs, thereby powering data pipelines at every stage with flexible compute and storage functionalities in the pre-validated architecture. On the HCI side of the spectrum, FlashArray and FlashStack™ can be clubbed with Cisco InterSight to breakdown silos of information, allowing for an integrated point of management for all Cisco infrastructures. Ultimately, FlashArray’sNVMe/NVMe-oF architecture streamlines storage and networking functions to improve access to data sets as expected by an organization. These four use cases open up three unique areas of investment for Pure Storage and Cisco–Optimization of workloads, AI and ML implementations, and DevOps Modernization.
By coupling FlashStack™ and FlashArray, businesses can support a wide range of use cases ranging from high-performance applications to Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI), without worrying about scalability. The solution stack delivers better end-user experiences by tuning performance scales in accordance with clients’ SLAs. It also improves data accessibility for clients by virtually eliminating downtime, all the while keeping applications up and running during maintenance or upgrade intervals. Clients can ‘gain back IT Ops cycles’ with daily InterSight visibility and simplistic storage management, all the while benefitting from Pure Storage’s ‘Evergreen no-migration upgrades.’
Business Transformation through AI and ML
The FlashStack™ solution enables clients to deploy AI-ready workloads, thereby supporting AI/ML pilot programs and full-scale implementations. Combined with Flashblade, FlashStack™ consolidates complex data silos on a common data platform to serve heterogeneous data workloads while improving IT Ops and budget resource efficiency, reducing operational complexities and accelerating the flow of information. The two solutions energize data pipelines with independently flexible compute capabilities and storage solutions that are highly scalable at each ingestion point or when in need of higher performance characteristics. Ultimately, AI/ML solutions can be deployed with zero to minimal risks in a proven environment.
Application Modernization with DevOps
The versatile nature of FlashStack™ allows it to integrate with the Cisco Hybrid Cloud platform, combining compute and storage resources with Kubernetes. This architecture enables clients to run Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines effortlessly, which serve as the supporting pillars of the modern-day DevOps environments. They facilitate self-service functions and instantly accessible development environments while improving the speed of the time to market and driving the productivity of engineers. To further catalyze DevOps environments, Pure Storage’s Pure Service Orchestrator (PSO) delivers persistent container storage-as-a-service, on both public cloud and on-premise architectures. Likewise, the Pure Rapid Restore solutions remove any delays within the development and testing environments.
The Spark of Digital Transformations
Collectively, each use case or area of applicability is designed to help clients initiate and carry out digital transformation initiatives. “In the age of technology, users are accustomed to ‘cloud-like’ experiences across servers, visualization elements, and network infrastructures, where each function is orchestrated as an ‘on-demand’ service controlled by APIs. Unfortunately, many storage environments remain siloed with dedicated arrays for particular use cases that lead to poor utilization and high management overheads. That is where we come in,” explains Jobbins.
Pure Storage sees this preference as an opportunity to create modern data experiences that are more cloud-like. Customers can define a set of standardized storage services from a shared infrastructure, thereby facilitating support for on-demand, API-defined storage experiences. Consequently, Pure Storage bridges the infrastructure gap for clients by fuelling their transformational journeys in an agile and simplistic manner, true to the company’s motto.