Pure Storage CEO promises huge savings with flash

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The term 'disruption' gets tossed about a lot -- too often -- in the technology industry. But it isn't always hype. Backed by nearly half a billion dollars in investment, CEO Scott Dietzen and Pure Storage are hard at work disrupting a big chunk of the enterprise storage market owned by the likes NetApp and EMC, which is no stranger to disruption itself, having turned the tables on a previous generation of storage leaders.

Pure Storage is pure flash storage and it is aggressively driving its flash technology into Tier 1 storage applications in the data center. Forget flash being pricey. Dietzen, a veteran of multiple successful startups, says Pure Storage has driven the cost of flash below that of disk storage for such applications and he even promises customers a savings of $500,000 per storage appliance per year.

In this installment of the IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series, Dietzen spoke with Chief Content Officer John Gallant about how Pure Storage is changing the economics of flash and how the company intends to elbow the current market leaders aside in the next-generation data center.

Scott, talk about how your work with earlier startups shaped your strategy at Pure Storage.

I was the CTO of WebLogic and then BEA Systems. I have a PhD in computer science, became an entrepreneur, have done four startups. The prior three were successful although they all ended in acquisition. Generally, I had the good fortune to land in big markets that were being fundamentally disrupted by innovative ideas and great teams. That's the recipe I played before. The recipe is a big market, a technology sea change of some variety, an innovative [strategy] and a world-class team. When you put those four ingredients together you can vastly reduce the risk to success.

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