Pure and Ethos Sittin' in a Tree...

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If you haven’t heard yet, Ethos Technology recently entered into a distribution agreement with Pure Storage; “happy” would be somewhat of an understatement…

Someone asked me the other day “Why Pure?” - apparently “Er, ’cos they’re awesome!” wasn’t a sufficiently detailed response wink Answer take two:

I spent many years as an Infrastructure Architect and anyone who’s worked with me for any length of time will have heard me talk about the core principles which I keep front of mind whatever it is I’m designing:

  • Simplicity
  • Efficiency
  • Flexibility

Obviously, these mean different things dependant on the scope of the requirement, the tools available, environmental factors, integration considerations etc. but giving these principles focus and attention throughout the design process has stood me in pretty good stead over the years.

What I realised when we started Ethos was that this lens can be used more widely than I’d first appreciated; something the most disruptive infrastructure technologies all have in common is that they significantly improve upon the status quo in one or more of these key areas e.g. virtualisation revolutionised compute efficiency and flexibility; hyper-convergence can offer incredible simplicity (particularly for certain workloads); software-defined and composable infrastructure promise pioneering flexibility etc.

At Ethos we’ve found it really helpful to include my three principles within the framework we use to evaluate prospective vendor partnerships with an aim to identifying the ones that are really onto something; this has stood us in pretty good stead too.

When it comes to tech what I sometimes like to do is outline what an ideal solution would look like and work backwards from there. This often helps shine a light on not just the requirements that should be delivered against but also the accepted, often fundamental compromises of existing approaches. For a primary storage solution, a wish-list I’d come up with would look something like:

  • Deploy once and upgrade as needed (including in a way which keeps pace with innovation) without data migration, downtime or performance impact
  • I want it to have the ability to last ten years plus
  • I want my investment to be protected over the long term
  • I want the same storage capability with the same functionality on-premises and in the public cloud

Fundamentally I want my on-premises infrastructure to be more like Software-as-a-Service where I consume an always-on, always-available solution and all the rubbish like upgrades, maintenance, technology refreshes etc. is taken care of in the background, without impact.

However they spin it infrastructure vendors can’t get anywhere close to fulfilling my vision of a perfect storage solution; that is, aside from Pure Storage. Seriously.

You know when you meet someone for the first time and you find out you like all the same music, books, movies, culture, jokes etc. No? Me neither (that stuff only happens in the movies); the closest I’ve come is with Pure. Okay, that probably sounds like I’m laying it on a bit thick but bear with me, you’ll see what I mean.

Pure Storage have their own three core principles which are remarkably similar to mine:

  • Effortless
  • Efficient
  • Evergreen (which encompasses simplicity, efficiency AND flexibility)

Drilling down into that in a bit more detail for Pure Storage’s FlashArray:

Effortless:

  • Storage administration is a simple task, not a full-time job
  • There are no mandated training courses
  • Facilitates full-stack automation
  • Makes hybrid cloud a reality
  • Pure watch the array for you, seeing things before they happen

Efficient:

  • Best data reduction in the business; proven; always-on
  • Do what you like, when you like; run mixed workloads with predictable and consistent performance
  • No out-of-hours work required for any type of upgrade, maintenance or configuration

Evergreen:

  • Buy an array once; never buy another one to replace it. Ever
  • Never re-buy something you already have
  • No hidden costs, no enforced upgrades, transparent pricing
  • Designed for the future

It’s pretty ridiculous how good FlashArray is but it’s only one of Pure’s offerings; with FlashBlade, ObjectEngine and their Cloud Data Services they’re transforming infrastructure into something which is truly data-centric whilst staying true to their Ethos® of being Effortless, Efficient and Evergreen.

This is why they’re continuing to grow and take market share from everyone else out there; why I’m so evangelical about them and their solutions, and why I couldn’t be more excited about the Ethos/Pure partnership.

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