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Pure Storage Unveils Flash Array R4: Empowering Next-Generation Storage Solutions

Pure Storage revved up the hardware underpinning their FlashArray storage solution at Pure Accelerate 2023. The new FlashArray R4 hardware platform brings enhanced capabilities to both the FlashArray//C and FlashArray//X product lines, offering organizations powerful storage options built on Intel’s 4th generation Xeon processors, and expanding performance with more cores as well as DDR5 RAM, and PCIe4 technology.

FlashArray//C and FlashArray//X: Same Array, Different Media

The FlashArray R4 platform caters to two distinct product lines within Pure Storage’s portfolio: FlashArray//C and FlashArray//X. FlashArray//C harnesses the power of Quad-Level Cell (QLC) technology, while FlashArray//X utilizes Triple-Level Cell (TLC) technology. The characteristics of the two types of NAND flash media provide the arrays with unique characteristics, allowing organizations to select the array that best suits their specific needs.

The primary differentiator between the two is performance: FlashArray//X sets the bar high with sub-millisecond response times, delivering higher responsiveness for critical applications. On the other hand, FlashArray//C exhibits response times ranging from 2 to 4 milliseconds, making it an ideal choice for applications that prioritize capacity over ultra-low latency. There’s also the FlashArray//E, which Pure also introduced at Accelerate, which targets less performance-sensitive applications but is not technically part of the R4 family.

Support for a Wide Range of Protocols

Pure Storage’s FlashArray systems support a wide range of SAN and NAS protocols, catering to the diverse needs of applications. The majority of FlashArray clients utilize iSCSI and Fibre Channel for block storage connectivity, and this is Pure’s historic market. But these are unified storage solutions, so they also offer SMB and NFS NAS protocol support, and this has gained traction over the last decade. This capability was derived from the CompuVerde acquisition, which has long supported SMB3, allowing seamless integration with Windows-based environments and enabling efficient file sharing.

Pure Storage is also looking at the latest advanced protocols, and the FlashArray offers support for Remote Direct Memory Access over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) for specialized high-performance applications. Recently, the industry has witnessed growing interest in NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF), and Pure Storage is actively exploring and responding to the demands of this emerging storage connectivity technology.

Stephen’s Stance: The Next Mass-Market Array

With the introduction of the FlashArray R4 platform, Pure Storage continues to demonstrate its commitment to innovation and delivering next-generation storage solutions. By leveraging Intel’s 4th generation Xeon processors, DDR5 RAM, and PCIe4 technology, Pure Storage empowers organizations with high-performance storage arrays tailored to their specific requirements. The FlashArray//C and FlashArray//X offerings, with their distinct media options and varying performance characteristics, provide organizations with the flexibility to choose the storage array that best suits their needs.

If you want to find out more about Pure Storage’s FlashArray, head to their website or see the announcements from Pure Accelerate. You can continue reading about what Pure Storage announced in our next article.

About the author

Stephen Foskett

Stephen Foskett is an active participant in the world of enterprise information technology, currently focusing on enterprise storage, server virtualization, networking, and cloud computing. He organizes the popular Tech Field Day event series for Gestalt IT and runs Foskett Services. A long-time voice in the storage industry, Stephen has authored numerous articles for industry publications, and is a popular presenter at industry events. He can be found online at,, and on Twitter at @SFoskett.

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