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Pure Storage FlashArray – Product Review

Pure Storage FlashArray systems are all solid-state systems, providing NVMeoF-RoCE (called DirectFlash Fabric), FC, and iSCSI block storage access and file access with SMB and NFS. All data is both deduplicated and compressed prior to being written. Pure Storage claims there is no performance penalty for deduplicating and compressing data in-line, which enables an effective capacity ranging between 73 TB and 3.3 PB for their //X products, up to 5.5 for //XL models and up to 8.9 PB for their //C systems.

With FlashArray //X, Pure Storage has updated their second generation //m systems that continue to utilize purpose-built controller hardware and a custom NVRAM module. The system has dual controllers with either SAS attached SSDs or DirectFlash modules internal to the controllers attached via PCIe and add-on device enclosures using NVMeoF-RoCE for attach. In 2019, Pure Storage introduced the FlashArray//C system as a high-capacity flash array utilizing QLC flash. In late 2021, Pure introduced //XL models, XL130 and XL170, with improved performance and capacity as a scaled-up
alternative to //X systems.

The Futurum Group Comment: Pure Storage marketing calls the controllers “active/active” but they are really active/passive in that both controllers cannot be actively transferring data between devices and hosts. The “expanded” definition of active/active used is because the standby controller keeps the host bus adapters active and allows selections to pass to the other controllers.

The FlashArray //X is an update of the //m controller hardware and utilizes NVMe protocol and PCIe interfaces for custom designed flash modules called DirectFlash. DirectFlash can replace the use of standard SSDs in FlashArray //X, FlashArray //C, and previous //m systems are upgradable according to the guarantee made in the fall of 2016. Pure Storage claims a 4x performance improvement with the use of NVMe DirectFlash modules vs SSDs. The //X70 and //X90 can utilize a further performance increase by using Pure Storage’s DirectMemory cache.

Pure Storage FlashArray Product Review Includes:

  • Overview
  • Highlights
  • Usage
  • Architecture Deployment
  • EvaluScale Product Review Methodology
  • Evaluator Group’s Opinion

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Related to this document:
NAS Comparison Matrix – High-End, Pure Storage FlashBlade – Product Review,

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December 17, 2023


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