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Flash in a flash - Pure Storage

We ask Michael Cornwell, CTO Asia Pacific and Japan for Pure Storage, on his view of the company's Flash value proposition.
 
Data&StorageAsean: All Flash or Hybrid?
Michael Cornwell: Hybrid storage is used by companies who do that to combine the speed of flash with the cost efficiency of disk. But these legacy systems, with flash bolted on combine all of the weaknesses as well as the strengths of both, which makes them ultimately fall short.
 
That is because flash stores and serves data in a manner that is significantly different than disk. Read-activity is lightning fast, too many writes can wear out the medium, but this is where software becomes key to making enterprise flash work, as it not only delivers affordability, it makes flash more reliable at a hardware level.  We know that it won’t be as simple as new broom sweeping out older technologies in an instant, but flash provides greater scalability and application consistency while consuming fewer data centre resources than anything possible with disk based storage.
 
 
Data&StorageAsean: What’s truly Unique about your Flash offering?
Michael Cornwell: Flash is about to mainstream in the enterprise – and we are ready for that, compared to others. Our all-flash storage can transform an enterprise IT system through faster performance, efficiency, and streamlined IT and business operations. Our proof of concept eventually remove fears and gives prospects a tangible experience. Our systems allow customers to take advantage to changes without impact on business and without to refresh the traditional tech entirely. Customers can buy capacity when needed, and they benefit from lower density. It’s a paradigm shift, as our offer changes the commercial model of how storage has been consumed in the past. Companies with a traditional approach need to catch up and then turn their business model on ear.
 
In general, as flash is becoming standard, there’s a dramatic shift in disk to flash because of cost savings. We’re starting to see recognition from Gartner, IDC, etc. and all vendors are racing into the market.
 
Data&StorageAsean: Are IOPS everything? What else should people consider when selecting Flash Storage?
Michael Cornwell: The commonly accepted measure of performance for storage systems has long be IOPS. When testing a storage system, the standard practice has long been to use an industry standard benchmark tool such as IOmeter or vdbench to find out how many IOPS a system can deliver with different IO profiles
 
Unfortunately these IO profiles are usually based on outdated assumptions and my personal opinion is that they are not realistic.
 
Why is that? Because most of the profiles used in these benchmarks are based on small, 4KB or 8KB IOPS, whereas the average block size commonly observed on customer arrays in mixed workload environments is 32KB to 64KB.
The only real way to understand how fast an application will run on a given storage system is to run the application on this storage system.
 
Data&StorageAsean: Is there any customer type that your Flash Offering is not suited to?
Michael Cornwell: No, it’s the opposite: we’ve seen broad appeal across the industry, which is a testament to the adaptability of the technology.
 
Data&StorageAsean: What’s your target market in South Asia?
Michael Cornwell:We are investing broadly into the ASEAN market covering Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam. 

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