Summary:

If you wanted to use Pure Storage’s FlashArrays but weren’t a Fibre Channel shop, you were out of luck. Untill now. The startup has added 10GbE and iSCSi support — as well as snapshotting capabilities — to its solid state storage arrays.

Pure Storage controllers

A week after raking in $40 million in new funding, Pure Storage is expanding its flash storage vision, adding support for 10 gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) and iSCSI networks.

Network agnosticism is becoming a selling point for flash storage. Earlier this week, Nimbus Data said its new Gemini flash arrays can be software-configured to run on Ethernet, Infiniband or Fibre Channel networks. That’s important for companies that don’t want to pay for lots of new switching hardware to handle network upgrades.

Pure Storage’s FlashArray initially supported Fibre Channel networks only. That limited the product’s appeal for the many businesses that run all Ethernet in their shops. The company is also adding snapshotting — technology which lets users restore data quickly in the event of a problem. The new features will come as part of a free software upgrade to the company’s Purity operating environment, now in beta and slated for release this fall.

Pure Storage CTO John Colgrove (left) and CEO Scott Dietzen.

The Mountain View, Calif. company also announced a new VMware web client plug in so that admins that manage and monitor  virtual infrastructure  will be able to manage FlashArrays from within their familiar vCenter console.

Flash storage in general is taking off if judged by the sheer number of press releases generated in the past month. The technology remains more expensive than disk storage but that price delta is coming down and vendors are also addressing longevity concerns users have about the use of flash or solid-state storage.

Last week, IBM got into the act, announcing plans to  buy  Texas Memory Systems and its flash expertise, for an undisclosed amount. That acquisition should make IBM more competitive with EMC, which earlier bought EXtremeIO for its flash wherewithal.

All of that action means that smaller, but well-funded startups like Pure Storage, Nimbus Data, and Skyera, will compete not only with each other but with established IT giants as well.

It’s going to be an interesting ride.

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