- Companies may store and display data in various ways thanks to a unified storage architecture that supports block and file storage formats.
- Pure Storage is rethinking unified storage with a more up-to-date, flash-based architecture that natively supports block and file storage as first-class services.
Pure Storage Inc., a flash storage provider, made available file services for FlashArray. This new storage solution offers access to native block and file services from a single, global pool of resources.
According to the company, it is the first block and file platform developed from the ground up on top of a unified architecture. Pure Storage explained that by doing so, clients would benefit from vastly simplified large-scale management.
Companies may store and display data in various ways thanks to a unified storage architecture that supports block and file storage formats. Multiprotocol arrays of this type have been around for a while, but according to Pure Storage, they cannot provide the flexibility or efficiency that the system had promised.
That’s because new protocols are typically added as an afterthought to arrays initially designed for a particular use case, typically either block or file storage. By doing it in this manner, when storage is scaled up, the complexity of administering such systems becomes a huge issue.
To avoid having the same restrictions as bolt-on systems, Pure Storage is rethinking unified storage with a more up-to-date, flash-based architecture that natively supports block and file storage as first-class services. Additionally, it supports all common enterprise storage use cases, such as data stores for users’ directories and profiles, content repositories, VMware and NFS data stores, data security, and backup.
According to Pure Storage, it can reduce the complexity of data growth on legacy unified arrays by providing a more flexible pool of storage resources that supports both block and file. Administrators had to carefully prepare each storage upgrade and request on those earlier systems to prevent breaking anything.
Traditional unified storage solutions require managers to provision block storage and file storage separately, even on the same array. Doing so is problematic since it frequently results in inefficiencies and unnecessary storage, and it can reduce the administrator’s flexibility in responding to changing needs.
Peter Skovrup, Vice President of Product Management at Pure Storage, elaborated on a few issues that storage administrators could encounter. For instance, it can be very troublesome if a virtual machine program needs extra storage space. Despite the array’s large capacity, the particular file system it is housed in might not have enough free space. Moving the application to a brand-new file system is necessary to accommodate such growth.
Skovrup said, “The net impact of the volume size limitation is that you either need to leave much headroom or move workloads regularly. As a storage admin, you spend your time managing limitations rather than having the storage array do the job.”
With File Services for FlashArray, this is no longer the case because there is no longer any requirement to plan for storage expansion thanks to its flexible and worldwide pool of storage resources. Both File and Block services are provided natively, giving access to the same underlying storage pool, as opposed to being bolt-on storage services. Resources are automatically and dynamically used. Administrators may readily use the required resources to extend block and file storage instantly.
Skovrup stated, “This approach fundamentally removes scalability concerns because there are no artificial limits. No file system limits, just a global storage pool.”
The global storage pool is a solitary, shared resource pool created for the all-flash era that can adapt and extend without causing disruptions when new resources are added. Block and file storage is used up as needed, up to the array’s maximum capacity. The company said it provides a uniform policy management system for block and file storage that drastically cuts down on administration times. All operations may be learned quickly and applied to both protocols by unifying policy management.
McDowell said, “While basic capacity planning still has to happen with Pure’s approach, it’s greatly simplified because everything is shared. This is a nice differentiator for Pure.”
According to Pure Storage, one of the critical advantages of File Services for FlashArray is that it introduces the idea of VM-aware storage, which offers more in-depth visibility into the granularity of virtual machines. With VM-level analytics, snapshots, quotas, and policy management available on FlashArray, storage administrators may natively manage virtual machines.
According to McDowell, VM-granular controls make managing storage for virtual machines much easier. It has always been challenging to accomplish this since administrators must manually convert each VM’s storage requirements into a configuration the underlying resource can understand.
“Pure is removing that mental translation layer and embedding intelligence directly into the array. While the benefits Pure is delivering are seemingly low-level, they will be appreciated by IT administrators. Pure has always been about simplifying storage, and I think they’re delivering that here,” McDowell added.