#133 – FlashArray//C Deeper Dive with Pete Kirkpatrick

#133 – FlashArray//C Deeper Dive with Pete Kirkpatrick

Chris EvansAll-Flash, Guest Speakers, Pure Storage

This episode was recorded live at Pure Storage offices in Silicon Valley. Chris talks to Pete Kirkpatrick, Chief Hardware Architect at Pure Storage about the FlashArray//C platform. FlashArray//C is a new solution announced at Pure Accelerate 2019 that offers a lower-cost all-flash solution for less latency-sensitive workloads.

FlashArray//C uses QLC technology, a cheaper, but slower flash alternative to SLC, MLC or even TLC that is being used in all-flash arrays today. Developing a solution using QLC requires more flash management, however using DirectFlash compared to standard SSDs offers Pure Storage cost and management advantages.

How will customers adopt the new technology? Introducing a new storage tier that sits below existing all-flash could be seen as an opportunity for customers to move away from FlashArray//X. Pete doesn’t see this as a threat, because the wider benefits for all-flash solutions are creating a new market.

Elapsed Time: 00:37:48


  • 00:00:00 – Intros
  • 00:01:05 – What are the differences/similarities of FlashArray//C & //X?
  • 00:03:30 – Pure Storage developed flash modules rather than using SSDs
  • 00:05:20 – QLC and TLC will co-exist in the enterprise
  • 00:05:50 – Why is QLC much harder to deal with?
  • 00:07:20 – 3x better endurance with DirectFlash, 10x compared to native SSD
  • 00:10:55 – Endurance saves cost – but also impacts and reduces risk
  • 00:12:00 – Latency & cost are the differentiators for //X and //C
  • 00:14:00 – Tiering solutions were always reactive and not proactive
  • 00:17:00 – How are FlashArray//C & //X differentiated in price?
  • 00:19:00 – Bigger drives means more metadata – means more DRAM
  • 00:19:55 – How does TCO affect pricing decisions?
  • 00:22:00 – How else will //C & //X be differentiated?
  • 00:23:40 – Will customers not simply move to //C from //X?
  • 00:25:45 – Running two arrays allows for real data protection
  • 00:26:30 – Is there a reason for holding back QLC to 2020?
  • 00:28:00 – How does Evergreen affect pricing with both //X & //C?
  • 00:29:25 – Could DirectMemory be used within //C?
  • 00:32:30 – Will there ever be an SCM-based FlashArray?
  • 00:33:35 – Is there any practical use to PLC flash?
  • 00:36:45 – Wrap Up

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