Pure Storage FlashBlade Demonstrates Financial Workload Performance

Pure Storage FlashBlade Demonstrates Financial Workload Performance

The News: Pure Storage recently submitted its FlashBlade solution for benchmarking by the Strategic Technology Analysis Center (STAC). The benchmark demonstrated FlashBlade’s performance for financial services workloads, such as quantitative trading. More information regarding the testing and the full benchmark results can be found here.

Pure Storage FlashBlade Demonstrates Financial Workload Performance

Analyst Take: Pure Storage FlashBlade, Pure’s all-flash file and object storage offering, recently underwent benchmark testing by STAC to demonstrate its performance capabilities. The performance testing was specifically targeted around FlashBlade’s ability to support financial services workloads, such as quantitative trading. To do so, the solution was tested with the STAC-M3 benchmark, which is a suite of tick-analytics benchmarks to evaluate management of time series market data. The STAC-M3 benchmark was developed by financial firms on the STAC Benchmark Council to represent a range of financial use cases.

The specific stack tested included the following components:

  • 8 Dell PowerEdge R740xd servers
    • RHEL
    • 2x Intel Xeon Platinum 8260 CPUs
    • 256 GiB memory
  • Kdb+ 4.0 DMBS running in distributed mode
  • FlashBlade//S500 with 10 FlashBlades
    • Purity//FB 4.1.5
    • 2 x 24TB Direct Flash Modules per blade
    • 266TB usable data
    • NFSv3
  • Arista Switch DCS-7050QX-32-R
  • Compatibility Rev I of the kdb+ STAC Pack

The benchmark results showcase impressive performance from FlashBlade in both the baseline Antuco suite and the scaling Kanaga suite. The FlashBlade solution proved faster than a solution with the same number of database servers, three network attached flash storage nodes, and Compatibility Rev H of the Stac Pack for several tests. It additionally performed faster than a cloud-based solution with 15 database virtual machine (VM) instances accessing data distributed across 40 VM instances, using Compatibility Rev E of the STAC Pack. For more specific details, see the results available from STAC here.

On a surface level, the results simply validate something that is fairly well known—Pure Storage makes fast storage systems. But the specific benchmark testing showcases an ability to provide excellent performance and scalability for one of the most performance-critical applications. For financial services applications, such as quantitative trading, every fraction of a second can prove critical, and this benchmark showcases FlashBlade’s ability to support quick time-series analysis.

It is also notable that the FlashBlade-based stack that was tested was relatively simplistic. Pure Storage claims that the benchmark was completed with “minimal configuration tuning” to showcase the simplicity of the solution alongside its performance.

The overall unstructured data storage market—file and object storage—has been trending more and more toward all-flash and high-performance systems. Rapid handling of large-scale time-series data for financial analysis is one such application, but the same concept applies to many other use cases as well and will be critical in the development of new AI applications. Pure Storage has long been ahead of this fast unstructured data trend, as has been apparent from FlashBlade’s long standing tagline Unified Fast File and Object. As the need for high-performance file and object storage has increased, the market has seen many competitors introduce additional all-flash, high-performance unstructured data storage solutions. Although the market has grown, the recent STAC benchmark results demonstrate that Pure Storage FlashBlade is still very much a leading solution in providing high-performance file and object storage for financial services applications and beyond.

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.

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Author Information

Mitch comes to The Futurum Group through the acquisition of the Evaluator Group and is focused on the fast-paced and rapidly evolving areas of cloud computing and data storage. Mitch joined Evaluator Group in 2019 as a Research Associate covering numerous storage technologies and emerging IT trends.

With a passion for all things tech, Mitch brings deep technical knowledge and insight to The Futurum Group’s research by highlighting the latest in data center and information management solutions. Mitch’s coverage has spanned topics including primary and secondary storage, private and public clouds, networking fabrics, and more. With ever changing data technologies and rapidly emerging trends in today’s digital world, Mitch provides valuable insights into the IT landscape for enterprises, IT professionals, and technology enthusiasts alike.


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