The latest entrant into the high-end flash storage arena, Pure Storage, came out of stealth mode at the VMware conference gunning for the highest of high ends, the high-availability (HA) market of mainly currency traders and other financial companies, Wikibon CTO David Floyer writes in a new alert titled “Pure Storage Aspires to Tier 1 Storage.” This company builds active-active clustered controllers over InfiniBand attached to Samsung SSDs.
While not perfect – the form-factor constraints are awkward – the combination of flash and InfiniBand give it the performance to meet the millisecond access time needs of this market where seconds can cost money. However the market is slow to trust new entrants until they have proven that they can also deliver on the very high guaranteed availability needs of these true Tier 1 users. These are very large-scale, high-value applications that need consistent performance and extreme survivability.
Today the market trusts just three large players – EMC, IBM, and Hitachi. HP/3PAR is knocking on that door but has not been in let in yet. It can take years to build a good enough reputation to earn membership in that exclusive club. Actually, in an earlier article on the future of flash storage, Floyer speculated that that the HA market may become the last bastion of high-performance disks after everyone else has replaced them with flash.
The question now is will the attraction of much higher response rates help Pure Storage crack this market earlier than expected – or will it be bought by one of the incumbents (or HP) and given a leg up.