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Pure Storage Brings Purely Block Storage to Azure/VMware Cloud

Pure Storage Brings Purely Block Storage to Azure_VMware Cloud

The News: Pure Storage expanded its strategic product and go-to-market partnership with Microsoft by launching Pure Cloud Block Store for Azure VMware Solution (AVS). You can read more details on the Pure Storage blog.

Pure Storage Brings Purely Block Storage to Azure/VMware Cloud

Analyst take: Pure Storage’s Cloud Block Store is now an external storage option for AVS as part of a deeper integration of Pure’s storage and the Azure cloud. Cloud Block Store on AVS is Pure’s Purity storage management software decoupled from its FlashArray hardware, running natively on Azure. Purity’s features include instantaneous snapshots, cloning, fast recovery, and ransomware capabilities such as default immutable snapshots.

AVS is a Microsoft service, verified by VMware, running on Azure infrastructure. Microsoft manages and maintains the private cloud infrastructure and software.

Cloud Block Store on AVS is in private preview, with a public preview scheduled for the end of August and general availability expected around 3 months later.

Cloud Block Store is the first block-only storage option for a VMware cloud. The goal is to make it easier for database administrators to migrate database workloads to the cloud, increase support for test/dev scenarios off those databases, and reduce cost by provisioning storage as needed without having to scale compute.

Until this integration, AVS customers’ storage options were VMware’s vSAN HCI storage and Azure NetApp Files (ANF) with ONTAP storage. Pure sees cost advantages over vSAN from its copy data management features and decoupling of storage and compute resources. Cloud Block Store on AVS requires less compute resources than vSAN because customers can scale storage by adding capacity only without compute.

Because Pure Cloud Block Store does not support NFS, ANF is the better choice for file storage. However, Pure claims performance gains when using block, and the ANF Ultra tier will cost up to three times as much as Cloud Block Store, ANF premium will be up to twice as expensive, and ANF standard will cost up to 15% more.

Cloud Block Store on AVS supports Azure Premium SSD v2 as back-end storage. Premium SSD v2 can be provisioned to 64 TiBs of storage capacity, 80,000 IOPS, and 1,200 MBPS throughput on a disk.

Along with its primary block storage capabilities, Cloud Block Store also brings data protection features from on-premises to the cloud:

  • SafeMode Ransomware Data Protection – always-on, instantly-restored data sets.
  • Disaster Recovery – Purity’s zero-RPO active cluster, near-zero RPO ActiveDR and CloudSnap; cloud replication that enables configuration of DR targets with small compute and storage footprint that can be scaled on demand.

Pure customers can use their Evergreen//One and VMware universal license subscriptions to move capacity from on-premises VMware deployments on FlashArrays to Pure Cloud Block Store in Azure.

Like other major storage vendors, Pure allows its customers to use the same data management platform on-prem as in the cloud. This can make it easier for customers to scale and manage storage, even if it costs the vendor revenue from infrastructure scales. I expect to see Pure expand Cloud Block Store in several fronts, mainly adding NFS support and native integration into AWS. For now, Pure is taking advantage of its close relationships with Microsoft and VMware to provide block storage capabilities that are not commonly available in the cloud.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other Insights from the Futurum Group:

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Author Information

Dave’s focus within The Futurum Group is concentrated in the rapidly evolving integrated infrastructure and cloud storage markets. Before joining the Evaluator Group, Dave spent 25 years as a technology journalist and covered enterprise storage for more than 15 years. He most recently worked for 13 years at TechTarget as Editorial Director and Executive News Editor for storage, data protection and converged infrastructure. In 2020, Dave won an American Society of Business Professional Editors (ASBPE) national award for column writing.

His previous jobs covering technology include news editor at Byte and Switch, managing editor of EdTech Magazine, and features and new products editor at Windows Magazine. Before turning to technology, he was an editor and sports reporter for United Press International in New York for 12 years. A New Jersey native, Dave currently lives in northern Virginia.

Dave holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Journalism from William Patterson University.

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