When Pure Storage filed its S-1 documentation last year, pundits were roundly surprised at the revenue growth that the company had seen. Over the years 2013, 2014 and 2015, the company grew from $6 million to $43 million to $174 million. That growth continued post IPO with the company reporting in its first post-public earnings call that revenue had nearly tripled. Of course as is the norm with these high-growth companies, the losses were also piling up, but in a race for scale that is the model most companies are chasing.
Beyond investing huge amounts of cash in sales and marketing and selling the existing products to more and more people, Pure is obviously intent on making its offering applicable to an entire new subset of prospective customers and, to this end, is rolling out some new product offerings.
FlashBlade is an all-flash storage platform built with both scalability and economy in mind. Aimed at petabyte-scale workloads, FlashBlade delivers storage at less than $1/GB for usable storage. FlashBlade joins Pure's existing FlashArray to give customers a choice of form factors and prices.
FlashBlade sees Pure move into storage for unstructured data space, a smart move given the increasing importance of unstructured data to organizations and the corresponding increasing concerns around the storage of unstructured data. Pure's angle is to promise customer's storage that is both big and fast. A compelling message for those looking to run real-time analyses and the like. FlashBlade can be differentiated from traditional unstructured data solutions which were primarily NAS filers and scale-out NAS solutions - both options generally architected for disk and its corresponding relative lack of speed.
It is a story that makes sense but should be seen in the context of the split between converged hardware plus software solutions from the likes of Pure and SolidFire (recently acquired by NetApp) and the more software-orientated overlay solutions that bringing the heady promise of covering both new all-flash storage hardware as well as more legacy kit.
The reality of the matter is that, in all probability, storage will follow compute and look very heterogeneous in the future. To that end, and likely with justification, Pure is banking on customers wanting tailored solutions for their most taxing workloads and that those same customers will be comfortable with older workloads sitting on disconnected legacy kit. One thing is sure, this space isn't cooling down any.
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