Storage Unpacked 245 – Design Strategies for 300TB Flash Drives with Shawn Rosemarin from Pure Storage (Sponsored)

Chris EvansAll-Flash, Guest Speakers, Pure Storage, Sponsored, Storage, Storage Hardware, Storage Unpacked Podcast

In this episode, Chris talks to Shawn Rosemarin (VP, R&D, Customer Engineering) from Pure Storage about the evolution towards 300TB direct flash modules, the custom-designed SSDs used in FlashArray and FlashBlade. Pure Storage has stated an intention to deliver 300TB modules by 2026. With only three years to achieve that goal, how will the company move from today’s 52TB maximum capacity to 6x the amount of storage in a similar footprint?

There are two key technologies at play here. Firstly, Pure Storage designs and manufactures custom SSDs (DFMs) rather than use commodity devices. This approach offers much greater control over the operation of NAND and other aspects such as DRAM usage and power draw. Second is the use of Purity, the Flash platform operating system, which directly controls the placement of data across NAND.

As DFM flash capacities continue to grow over the next three years, the difference between future HDDs and commodity SSDs will widen. Pure Storage hopes the ability to drastically increase capacity in the same footprint will offer customers a way to cope with environmental costs, the cost of data centre space and meet the increasing storage demands of technologies such as AI.

Here are links to the “better science” blog posts mentioned in the discussion:

Here’s the link to our Pure Storage Microsite.

Elapsed Time: 00:46:18


  • 00:00:00 – Intros
  • 00:02:20 – Pure intends to reach 300TB DFMs by 2026
  • 00:03:40 – Why do we not have all-flash data centres?
  • 00:05:50 – Enterprise drives developed from consumer NAND usage
  • 00:06:35 – HDDs are 67 years old
  • 00:08:40 – 100TB HDDs by 2030?
  • 00:09:25 – HDD and SSD device capacity is diverging
  • 00:11:00 – Environmental aspects will affect adoption – such as power
  • 00:12:10 – Data centre growth is being restricted by power availability
  • 00:13:50 – there‚Äôs also an ESG aspect, what do businesses need to do?
  • 00:15:50 – How will Pure Storage get to 300TB drives?
  • 00:18:00 – Exploiting NAND efficiently is challenging to deliver
  • 00:22:15 – Firmware on standard drives is rarely (if ever updated)
  • 00:23:10 – Pure Storage can dynamically amend flash management algorithms
  • 00:24:25 – DRAM is used to obfuscate issues with flash management
  • 00:25:35 – Purity uses 1/40th of the amount of DRAM compared to standard SSDs
  • 00:27:40 – QLC NAND is progressively harder to manage than previous generations
  • 00:30:05 – How will reliability be managed at 300TB per drive?
  • 00:31:35 – How repairable are current (and future) SSDs?
  • 00:33:50 – As the biggest consumers of HDDs, how will the public cloud become all-flash?
  • 00:36:40 – The public cloud will move towards managing raw NAND
  • 00:38:12 – As divergence in capacity continues, businesses are creating greater technical debt
  • 00:41:10 – Traditional SSDs will still not keep up with DFMs
  • 00:43:30 – Pure Storage will reach 300TB in product release steps
  • 00:44:40 – Wrap Up

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