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Is the Management Platform As Important as the Hardware? Pure Storage Says “Yes” with Its Innovations In Pure1

Traditional management of storage arrays has historically been less than desirable. Between complicated management interfaces and reporting that didn’t meet the administrator’s needs, much was left to be desired. When Pure Storage entered the market, its Pure1 management platform changed the way storage could be managed. And in their most recent announcement, Pure shows the power of their continued investment in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to help Pure 1 evolve to meet and exceed consumer demands.

A Primer

For those unfamiliar, Pure1 is the cloud-based management dashboard for Pure Storage. As it is cloud-based, administrators can monitor and manage their arrays on any browser whether on site or on their phones. The platform is powered by Pure’s proprietary Artificial Intelligence Engine Pure1 Meta. Meta uses data collected from thousands of arrays globally to analyze workloads and predict performance and hardware issues before they may occur. This data has also allowed Pure to analyze tens of thousands of workloads, which in turn created “issue fingerprints.” These “fingerprints” are what allow problems to be predicted before they happen.

To The Cloud

While more and more businesses continue to move into the cloud, so too must on-premises vendors. Soon Pure Storage will be announcing Cloud Block Store on AWS. Cloud Block Store on AWS allows a hybrid cloud approach by extending Pure Storage’s software into AWS for backup and snapshot storage. It should be noted that other Simple Storage Service (S3) storage targets can be leveraged by Cloud Block Store. And once again, everything is managed in the same Pure1 dashboard as your on-premises arrays.

Where are we going?

An issue that affects nearly all environments is mapping out the path the storage travels to the application. Pure Storage is approaching this issue with its Pure1 VM Analytics tool. VM Analytics provides storage mapping starting at the array through the volume, datastore, host, VM, and up to the Virtual Disk. Pure1 VM Analytics is integrated with Pure1 and utilizes data collectors in the environment. This data is displayed in a very easy to understand and interactive map. While this product is still fairly new, Pure Storage was sure to start with important metrics like latency and bandwidth. Having seen demonstrations of Pure1 VM Analytics, there are many reasons to be excited to see where Pure Storage takes this product next.

Another exciting piece that sets Pure1 VM Analytics apart from the other Pure1 offerings is that it can be used to map from any storage vendor. Data can be collected directly from the Pure Storage array, or by collectors on a virtual machine using API calls to VMware vCenter Server. As the off array collectors utilize data imported from vCenter, this information can be vendor agnostic in the display. You will need to have a Pure1 account to access the dashboard. It should also be noted that the information displayed in the dashboard for other vendors will not be as robust as the output for Pure Storage. This is due to the collection method listed previously. After seeing many demos of the Pure1 VM Analytics tool, it will be interesting to see where Pure takes the product from here.

Final Thoughts

In a world where some of the legacy storage vendors are playing catch up to industry trends and new technologies, Pure Storage is on the front lines bringing their customers’ consistent innovations and powerful features. The dedication to Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence that Pure has poured into Pure1 continues to drive these innovations. While AI/ML has certainly felt like a buzzword for the last several years, vendors such as Pure Storage are showing that that is just not the case. This coupled with Pure Storage’s ability to adapt to changing data center architectures with their Pure1 management platform and multiple public clouds provide a powerful tool that sets Pure apart from the pack.

About the author

Paul Woodward Jr.

I am a Systems Engineer with a focus on data center technologies. My passion is virtualization and performing amazing feats of technology!

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