Pure Storage has made a name for itself in the channel in flash storage, but in addition to data storage, during Pure Accelerate 2017 in San Francisco, delegates heard of the vendor's endeavour into the big data arena.
During his opening keynote Scott Dietzen, CEO of Pure Storage (pictured), said that with its cloud automation service offering Pure1 having debuted June 2015, "we're now a big data business".
"We're exploiting deep learning and all the back-end analytics operating data in order to better support you, and we're asking our customers and partners to share their best practices," Dietzen said.
Product announcements this week also pushed the Mountain View, CA-based software vendor deeper into the space. This includes Pure1 META, an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that brings predictive intelligence through the collection and analysis of more than 1 trillion array telemetry data points daily.
Event announcements also include enhancements to Pure's cloud-based flash array product line FlashBlade that allows users to manage as many as 75 blades in one system with the aim of driving outcomes around big data faster.
According to Rob Owen, AVP of solutions architecture at integrator, solution provider and Pure partner Computer Design & Integration (CDI), Pure's FlashBlade line is what enables the vendor to be viewed by channel partners as a big data business.
He added that Pure is taking a "smart" approach in rolling features out over time as customer demand arises, saying this points to Pure recognising that while it's important to be on top of messaging around big data, there's time before the market takes off and leaves laggards behind.
"They're trying to get a little bit ahead of it from a marketing perspective, but they realise they've got time before people are really going to be hammering away [at big data] outside of niche use cases," Owen said during the event.
"The average client that has a lot of data will take a while to figure out what they want to do with it. Pure [believes] by the time it happens they'll have a really robust and mature product that will play a big role in that space. They're ahead of themselves but in a good way."
Owen noted that when it comes to Pure's big data play its biggest competition will be public cloud. The executive said CDI is seeing customers tap into big data analytics by leveraging the cloud rather than committing to a long-term investment before knowing what value they will get out of it.
"They're doing it in the cloud and on pieces of their data to understand if there's value in this before they buy a [lot] of hardware or invest a [lot] of operational costs to make it happen. They're doing pilot trials in the cloud because there's no risk; you just turn it off if you don't want it," Owen said.
Pointing to the Pure1 META release, Yousuf Kahn, CIO at Pure, said Pure is looking to provide actionable intelligence through its big data efforts considering the amount of data available is set to increase through things like Internet of Things, sensors and drones.
When asked if he thinks channel partners view Pure as a big data business, he said partners see the company as a "data platform definitively", which he said has implications for the solutions Pure's channel partners can offer customers.
"Most companies will take a stance on where data is a big part of their organisation. Big or small, it's about what you do with [the data]. Channel partners look at us as a company that solves all those problems, so we're focused on data platform," Kahn said.
Meanwhile, Andy Martin, VP of North America channel at Pure, said he hopes partners view Pure as a big data company following the week's announcements, while pointing to opportunities he believes they open for the Pure channel.
"Many of our customers have been very successful building big data lakes through our channel partners, but traditionally big data's been ‘slow data'. Now with FlashBlade and some of the announcements we've made big data can become' fast data', and that opens the door for all kinds of applications and use cases that our partners can resell and wrap solutions around," he said.
Kahn added that over the next year, he'd like channel partners to associate big data with Pure more, adding that this isn't "anything new" considering Pure has already worked with large SaaS companies and VARs on large AI installations.
"When we were approached by those partners, they viewed us [as] solving big problems in big data," Kahn said.
The vendor is also hoping channel partners embrace the big data opportunity and leverage it to get into other aspects of their customers' environments, according to Martin. Similarly to Pure, partners' top challenge in this space will be talking to different types of executives within customer businesses, he added.
"We're used to the datacenter manager and IT as classic IT. We now have to get outside our comfort zone and speak to DevOps and the application side of the house… We've got to go do that together," Martin said.
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