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Pure Storage Goes All-In On Portworx Kubernetes, Digital Services

‘With Pure1, we take the complexity out and optimize it for cost and performance. Customers are increasingly moving their modern application on Kubernetes. So we are integrating Portworx more deeply with FlashBlade and FlashArray so customers are better able to manage modern and legacy applications,’ says Michael Ferranti, senior director of product marketing for Pure Storage’s Cloud Native business unit.

Pure Storage Thursday expanded its Portworx Kubernetes management platform with integrations across the storage vendor’s entire product portfolio as well as with the VMware Tanzu cloud-native containerization technology.

The company also expanded its P1 cloud-based storage management platform with new automated monitoring and AI-driven recommendations to improve self-service management.

The new capabilities were unveiled during the Pure//Accelerate Digital conference, held virtually this year because of travel concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

[Related: Pure Storage CEO Outlines What It Means To Be A Software, Cloud Company]

The latest news from Pure Storage is two-fold, said Michael Ferranti, senior director of product marketing for Pure Storage’s Cloud Native business unit.

“Partners really want services that work for them,” Ferranti told CRN. “With Pure1, we take the complexity out and optimize it for cost and performance. Customers are increasingly moving their modern application on Kubernetes. So we are integrating Portworx more deeply with FlashBlade and FlashArray so customers are better able to manage modern and legacy applications.”

Prakash Darji, Pure Storage’s vice president and general manager of digital experience, told CRN the company is doubling down on services.

“We have strong services for administrators and for developers, and we’re moving both forward in May,” Darji said. “This includes a focus around cloud-native developers, including integrating Portworx into FlashBlade and FlashArray, and expanding backup technologies. We’re also expanding our Pure1 digital experience with assessments and observability, AI-driven recommendations, and expanded digital self-service.”

Customers are moving to hybrid cloud, which requires a rethinking on what services are needed, Ferranti said. “We are redefining what storage looks like for modern applications running on Portworx,” he said.

Pure Storage Thursday introduced a new version of Portworx dubbed Portworx Enterprise 2.8, which provides the same cloud-like experience for Kubernetes applications whether they reside on Pure Storage’s FlashArray or FlashBlade storage infrastructures or in the cloud, Ferranti said.

“This lets customers set up applications on FlashArray, FlashBlade, or pooled storage, all with granular management in Kubernetes,” he said. “This also allows consistent backups, recovery, and continuous granular replication.”

With Portworx Enterprise 2.8, Pure Storage is also enhancing its Portworx Essentials free versions, allowing customers to manage containers across an unlimited number of nodes with unlimited capacity, Ferranti said.

“We make it much more flexible than Amazon Web Services,” he said.

Portworx now also provides container-native storage on VMware Tanzu and any CSI-compatible (container storage interface) storage system to provide container-granular data management including backup and recovery, encryption, and data migration over VMware or cloud block storage to provide a consistent Kubernetes-native experience for application that support CSI, Ferranti said.

Just as important, Pure Storage is also bringing Portworx container and application observability into Pure1, the company’s cloud-based storage management platform, Ferranti said.

“Portworx customers can benefit from Pure1 and its full analytics capabilities even if they don’t use Pure Storage arrays,” he said. “Again, it’s all about the services for the customer. With Pure1, they get container and application observability as a service.”

Portworx was a great acquisition for Pure Storage, and a timely one given VMware’s offering of its Tanzu technology, said Jerrod Janes, vice president of technical pre-sales at SHI, a Somerset, N.J.-based solution provider and No. 11 on CRN’s Solution Provider 500.

“We’re seeing an evolution with customers moving to container, or even containerless, workloads, and looking for middleware to manage it,” Janes told CRN. “The ability to integrate other services like data backups will get more and more important.”

Portworx also gives Pure Storage and its partners another conversation point with customers, Janes said.

“Now we’re not just talking block or file store, or cloud storage,” he said. “Now we’re talking about how to get closer to the entire storage conversation.”

Pure Storage Thursday also brought new digital experiences to clients via new automated monitoring and AI-driven recommendations capabilities to Pure1 as a way to improve data management and protection, Darji said.

This includes a new ransomware assessment as part of Pure Storage’s Pure-as-a-Service flexible storage consumption technology.

“This looks internally at whether a company is air-gapped, if it does snapshots to new storage targets, if storage can be recovered in case of ransomware,” he said. We provide assessments of how well protected customers are against ransomware.”

Also new is container monitoring in addition to Pure-as-a-Service’s virtual machine monitoring as a way to provide full end-to-end monitoring of data across on-premises FlashArray or FlashBlade arrays, cloud-native on Portworx, or via Pure Storage’s Cloud Block Store cloud-native flash storage for Microsoft Azure and AWS, Darji said.

The company also added the ability to do searches over thousands of virtual machines, automatically get data on storage requirements for new workloads, provide rebalancing recommendations for workloads, provide recommendations to improve performance and capacity, and choose workloads based on requirements with guidelines, he said.

This is addition to the digital self-service capabilities that Pure Storage introduced last year, Darji said.

“Digital self-service is real,” he said. “We’ve made it easy for containers. And for storage, now we’re making it easy with our catalog.”

Pure Storage’s enhancements to Pure1 are important for channel partners, Janes said.

“Pure1 started out with the ability to manage only the FlashArray arrays, but wasn’t connected to the other parts of Pure’s portfolio until now,” he said. “Now it includes FlashArray, FlashBlade, Cloud Block Store, and Portworx, all managed in a single space. As customers consolidate tools and partners, this is the right move to bring all the ease of use Pure is known for to them.”

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