As the Billy Joel song goes, “Get it right the first time, that’s the main thing.” And that’s been the goal of Pure Storage® from the beginning, when we set out to change a lot of the sub-optimal aspects of enterprise storage. While legacy storage solutions were synonymous with excessive maintenance renewals, operational complexity, disruptive upgrades with forced data migrations, and other flaws, Pure has focused on doing things differently—and getting it right.
The same applied to storage data-protection features. For starters, why did some vendors charge extra (and still continue to) for critical protection features like synchronous replication? The idea of charging extra for “luxury” features wasn’t new. It was standard in the automobile industry, in housing, and in many other realms of commerce, but that didn’t make it optimal for customers. If you’re willing to trust your data to a storage platform, why should you have to pay more to protect that data?
Pure got it right the first time and has never charged extra for modern data protection features. They’re always included, and you can access any new features in the next release with standard maintenance. For instance, Pure recently released ActiveDR continuous replication, delivered through the FlashArray Purity 6 operating environment. Just do a simple software update to start using this new functionality. There are no additional licensing or fees. And no service disruption during the upgrade.
While all-inclusive features have become more common in the storage industry, some vendors still charge extra by rolling a cluster of features into “luxury” licensing packs that require an upcharge. That’s getting it wrong.
Data Protection Shouldn’t Be Complicated
Complexity is another issue. Why are some data-protection operations so difficult to set up and manage? I took a look at the online documentation for a legacy vendor’s synchronous replication feature to see how its configuration process compared to FlashArray ActiveDR. And honestly, I still don’t know how to configure it. I found myself in a bewildering documentation maze of topics, sub-topics, backup reference topics, decision trees, and on and on.
But FlashArray is simple. You configure ActiveDR like this:
Create a “Pod” (a logical container for volumes you want to protect).
Add volumes to the Pod, either newly created or existing volumes.
Create a replica link between the source and the target Pod. The wizard creates a target Pod during the setup process.
Get coffee because you’re done!
Data begins to replicate as soon as the setup is complete. After the initial baseline copy, it automatically shifts into continuous replication mode for any new data writes.
In fact, the demo video of how to set up ActiveDR using Pure1® it only seven minutes long. And that includes a two-minute introduction, followed by instructions on how to connect hosts at the disaster recovery site, how disaster recovery works during failure, and more. The actual setup steps above take about a minute. That’s getting it right. (Watch it below.)
With the other legacy storage vendor, I spent more time trying to wade through the documentation and getting nowhere than it would have taken me to configure ActiveDR from start to finish.
But that’s how Pure rolls and all the FlashArray data-protection features are equally simple. And simple is smart because simple management leads to fewer mistakes, and that keeps your data safer.