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Pure Storage Intros All-Flash Converged Infrastructure With Single-Call Support

By - Source: Pure Storage

Chances are, if you work in the IT industry the term "all-flash" gets your blood pumping a little faster. Pure Storage feels the same way. The all-flash storage company today announced a new line of all-flash converged infrastructure (CI) systems. The FlashStack CI solutions combine Pure Storage's own flash arrays with Cisco and VMware technologies.

Converged infrastructure solutions are a good way to streamline IT operations, particularly when it comes to hardware setup. Converged infrastructure solutions are a good way to streamline IT operations, particularly when it comes to hardware setup. However, FlashStack CI also works to simplify the software piece of the puzzle, specifically with VDI deployments and server virtualization.

FlashStack CI comes packaged with VMware vSphere 5.5 for deploying and managing VMs, as well as VMware Horizon 6, VMware's virtual desktop deployment platform. The hardware foundation of the FlashStack CI includes Pure Storage's 400 Series FlashArrays, Cisco UCS Blade Servers and Nexus switches.

Thanks to VMware's virtualization technology, the FlashStack CI can support more than 1,000 VMs in a stack with vSphere 5.5 or deploy up to 3,000 virtual desktops using Horizon 6. Both the virtual desktop and virtual server models include 24/7, year-round support.

Customer support is a major factor of CI solutions that should not be overlooked. For instance, when troubleshooting problems with a FlashStack CI, all calls are handled by Pure Storage's Authorized Support Partner (ASP) program. ASPs are trained in Level 1 and 2 support for Cisco and VMware products, in addition to Pure Storage's solutions. However, the single-call support and sell program is currently only available in the US, UK and Australia. Support and availability will be extended to other markets in the coming months.

"Our focus is on the end user experience and providing a single point for support," Jim Sangster, director of product and solutions marketing at Pure Storage, told Tom's in an interview. "We're bringing together the best of breed components and elite partners capable of providing superior multi-vendor support."

Pure's FlashStack CI is not the only all-flash converged infrastructure on the market. The product is competing with VCE's Vblock System 540, which integrates VMware's vSphere hypervisor, Cisco's UCS servers, Nexus switches and ACI, and EMC's XtremIO for storage. FlashStack CI is also challenging NetApp's FlexPod Datacenter, which brings together Cisco UCS, Nexus and ACI along with NetApp's Data ONTAP and MetroCluster software, and All-Flash FAS; it's capable of integrating with VMware, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and Citrix applications.

However, there are several factors that differentiate FlashStack from other all-flash CI solutions. "Pure's components provide more than the competition," Joel McKelvey, the marketing lead for FlashStack Solutions, told Tom's. "You can add capacity without downtime, have native recovery, replication, and snapshotting. Other solutions might have the speed that comes with flash, but not much else."

Advantages of FlashStack CI. Image courtesy of Pure Storage.Advantages of FlashStack CI. Image courtesy of Pure Storage.Pure also offers easier lifecycle management, at least for the storage piece of the FlashStack, with the company's Forever Flash program. "You can easily upgrade and enhance the hardware without downtime or disruption," McKelvey added, "and have the ability to rightsize the solution for your needs."

As far as management is concerned, all of the separate components have their individual UIs and APIs, but they all plug into vCenter for a single pane of glass management capability. FlashStack has the foundation for open management of the full stack with restful APIs, according to McKelvey. There's also integration with VMware's vCloud and vRealize products.

"Delivering absolute simplicity and the best possible storage experience is core to our vision, so developing converged infrastructure solutions that deliver on that promise is an important step forward for Pure," said Matt Kixmoeller, VP of product and marketing at Pure Storage.

For more information on the FlashStack CI solutions, visit the company's product overview page.