Pure Storage focuses on Kubernetes with Portworx features

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Pure Storage has revealed its vision during the digital Accelerate conference. The company says it will do everything to offer a ‘modern data experience’, meaning a further expansion and optimisation of the strategy. It is clear that Portworx, the company acquired by Pure Storage, will play a central role.

Many large enterprise organisations have opted for Pure Storage solutions in recent years. Especially the all-flash approach is interesting for organisations because it enables them to achieve performance gains in the infrastructure. Of course, a lot of time was spent to optimise the products and approach. This has resulted in a solid portfolio, as we wrote after a previous Accelerate edition.

This year Pure Storage talks again about offering a modern data experience. That is, providing infrastructure which makes work and interaction with data pleasant. The storage must be easy to manage and flexible to consume, according to Pure Storage. All services are therefore offered as a service.

Portworx for hybrid and multi-cloud

To get some more insight into what Pure Storage is doing during this year’s Accelerate conference to further bring the modern data experience, we spoke with Principal Systems Engineer Marco Bal. As far as Bal is concerned, one of the important innovations is in Portworx. This company was acquired in 2020 and offers a storage and data management platform for Kubernetes projects. Pure Storage is convinced of the technology of Portworx, given the possibilities around data availability, backup and disaster recovery for Kubernetes applications. With that, Portworx can play a role in the infrastructure strategy of Pure Storage customers, which is increasingly based on the hybrid or multi-cloud.

Bal explains that Portworx is developing as a separate product but that there is now also the first integration with Pure Storage since the acquisition. This integration is coming in the Portworx Enterprise 2.8 release, which will be available in June. The functionality actually builds on the Pure Service Orchestrator (PSO), ensuring that storage requests go to the right place. Version 2.8 includes functionality that now provides automatic Kubernetes block and file system provisioning on Pure Storage’s FlashArray//C, FlashArray//X and FlashBlade products. According to Bal, Pure Storage goes further than competitors with container solutions based on the Kubernetes container storage interface (PSO is also CSI) because of its focus on scale. The storage provisioning is unlimited for the FlashArray and Flashblade products mentioned.

In addition to this development, Portworx needs to support any CSI-compatible storage system. Portworx Enterprise 2.8 thus comes with targeted support for VMware Tanzu via the native Tanzu CSI driver. The release also supports the latest CSI specification so that Portworx can work with applications running on any CSI-capable storage.

Portworx also shows the PX-Backup 2.0 release at the Accelerate conference. The release of the platform for application and data protection was presented just before the event. For Pure Storage, this platform is an important asset for securing modern applications, which is why it will receive the necessary attention during Accelerate. The platform has also been validated to work with FlashBlade, to provide backup and disaster recovery of Kubernetes-based workloads. Combining the services should assure applications, including data and configurations, are protected.

More simplicity in deployment and assets

To give Portworx an even more prominent place in the portfolio, telemetry data on the Kubernetes cluster and volume usage from Portworx is now also sent to the Pure1 management platform. This provides greater visibility, allowing companies to understand deployment patterns and resolve any issues. The management platform also has AI that can analyse the telemetry data. These analyses make it possible to detect anomalies and offer solutions before problems lead to downtime.

At the same time, Pure Storage is also releasing new functionality for Pure1. The platform now supports monitoring and managing solutions like on-premise FlashArrays, on-premise Flashblades, Portworx, Pure Cloud Block Store for AWS and Pure Cloud Block Store for Microsoft Azure. The upgrade to the analytics functionality should also lead to the rapid detection of problems and provide proactive recommendations for ransomware. The analytics can also make recommendations around performance and capacity, such as predicting what will happen when workloads are moved.

In addition to the analytics functionality, Bal says Pure1 will have an expanded service catalogue. New services can be purchased from the platform, such as Pure-as-a-Service or integration services from partners. Companies can also request quotes from the service catalogue when they want to expand, plan upgrades, and manage their Pure Storage subscriptions.

Modern Data Experience Continues to evolve

All in all, Pure Storage is using its Accelerate conference this year primarily to more firmly position Portworx, which it acquired last year. For Pure Storage, Portworx has grown into an asset for supporting the hybrid and multi-cloud. We are now seeing the result of this with the integrations and functionalities. The current steps show progress in that respect, but there is also the expectation that more will happen in the coming months in this area. Because although the basis for a modern data experience is in place, the message is constantly evolving.