The Future of All-Flash Data Centers and Cloud Technology

11 Sep 2018 by Technology

The rise of data-centric storage is a boon to the data center industry and enables improved application performance. Pure Storage, the firm helmed by Charlie Giancarlo currently, may also be able to provide upgrades to data center architecture without costing the company uptime.

About Pure Storage and Charlie Giancarlo

Pure Storage has been around for several years and has seen marked growth during that time. However, Charlie Giancarlo only became CEO a year ago – in the fiscal year 2018, Pure Storage earned a billion dollars. 

Prior to his arrival at 
Pure Storage, Giancarlo was a managing director and senior advisor at Silver Lake Partners. He also has a history with Cisco, where he pushed the company toward VoIP, Wi-Fi technology, Ethernet switching and more. That experience, in particular, is helping him steer Pure Storage into new realms of profitability and service quality. 

Overcoming Big Data’s Bottleneck

Giancarlo admits that there is a bottleneck when it comes to enterprise storage, as well as the fact that ES isn’t particularly sexy or innovative. He seeks to change that by eliminating the problem of handling all the data generated in today’s enterprise. Pure Storage’s unique data-centric storage technology allows them to overcome this hurdle.

He admits that data continues to grow exponentially, even explosively. This makes storage with conventional technology difficult, if not impossible. The days of the hard disk drive are numbered, Giancarlo believes, at least in the world of enterprise storage. This is thanks to the dramatic increase in network bandwidth, as well as the reduced cost and improved capacity of solid-state storage. Both of those underpin Pure Storage’s unique offering. In fact, he claims that the company’s approach can make it feel as though all the data required is stored on the same workstation you’re accessing, not in the cloud.

Giancarlo also points out that in addition to the evolution of better network density and solid-state storage capabilities, the enterprise application stack has also changed a lot in the last few years. Once upon a time, that stack was virtually impossible to tear apart and rebuild. It was customized to each enterprise’s application environment and usage needs, and tuned to the specific security setup in use within the enterprise. 

Today, applications are super-lightweight. Most of them are containerized and virtualized, which lends itself to increased agility. The problem is the data itself. That data is not easily movable. The solution, he says, is to move the application to the data, rather than trying to move the data to the application. High-speed ethernet interfaces allow this to happen.

This is actually the underlying concept behind Pure Storage’s data-centric approach. It’s more about creating the right data processing environment than it is increasing the speed of access to data by bringing that data to the application. 

Future Proofing Data Storage

One of the keys to Pure Storage’s increasing profitability is the company’s Evergreen Storage Service or ES2. Basically, this is a data storage as a service model that allows customers to pay a subscription price for all their data storage needs, and never have to migrate data off of the company’s system. Their storage system stays updated with the latest hardware and software at all times, with no downtime at all. This helps customers avoid the need to change out an array in a few years’ time, and they are never charged for the same storage when upgrading. For instance, if a customer starts out paying for 50 terabytes of storage, and then upgrades to 250, they only pay for 200 when they upgrade (as they’re already paying for the first 50).

Ultimately, Giancarlo expects more and more companies to adopt a data-centric storage position, particularly as solid-state storage becomes yet more affordable and ever-faster.

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