Wednesday, 12 March 2014 18:27

Health, education sectors jump on fast moving flash storage train Featured


The take-up of enterprise flash storage solutions has accelerated dramatically in Australia and globally for vendor Pure Storage which set-up its Australian operation only six months ago.

Adoption of the all-flash enterprise arrays technology in Australia mirrors Pure Storage’s performance around the world, with 50% quarter by quarter growth in 2013 and a reported 700% year-over-year growth for the fiscal year to the end of January.

Pure Storage VP Products Matt Kixmoeller told iTWire that, surprisingly, adoption of the ten-times faster flash arrays had been seen in Australia from both the healthcare and education sectors, just as it has been in other markets around the world, including the US with adoption by USF Health at the University of South Florida.

“These sectors are often capital constrained and not usually adopters,” Kixmoeller said.

While he would not name the Australian companies in the healthcare and education sectors, Kixmoeller said in the case of healthcare, patient record management and virtual desktops for doctors were part of the solution, and enhanced doctor productivity.

With adoption by the education sector he said a “better learning experience” was being delivered to the organisations which have adopted the technology.

Other verticals where flash array is making its mark include the finance sector and in the hosting market.

According to Kixmoeller, the enormous growth by Pure Storage over the past 12-months or more is in large part due to the benefits which all-flash storage arrays offer over traditional disc-centric arrays.

“We have now shipped our 1000th flash array globally and we have had a great reception in the Australia-New Zealand market,” Kixmoeller said.

“We are very excited about the ANZ market and we see how Australia was one of the fastest countries to adopt virtualisation. Flash storage is similar inefficiencies and benefits and goes hand in hand with virtualisation.”

Pure Storage ramped up its presence in the ANZ region with the opening of its first Australian offices in Sydney and Melbourne last October.

Pure Storage President David Hatfield said at the time that the company’s decision to expand into ANZ had been driven by the fact that “Australia and New Zealand are two of the most virtualised enterprise markets in the world.”

In October, Pure Storage it had signed Observatory Crest as its distributor across Australia and New Zealand, as well as a number of resellers in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Wellington and Auckland as part of its partner network. Hadfield also said the company had “already signed multiple customers and business partners in the region, including Harbour ISP, a National Broadband Network (NBN) service provider.”

Today’s announcement by Pure Storage of its global growth performance in 2013, coincided with the appointment – as reported by iTWire - of industry veteran Michael Alp as Vice President of Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ). The company says Alp has been charged with key priorities including growing Pure Storage’s established presence in Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand and ASEAN, “as well as opening new markets across Asia.”

Pure Storage CEO Scott Dietzen said today that 2013 had been a year of “unprecedented growth” for the company.

"We set extremely ambitious sales and product development goals for 2013, and I’m pleased to report that we exceeded them all.

“This is a testament to our company’s ability to execute and the fact that enterprise flash adoption is occurring even more rapidly than analysts predicted. We helped accelerate this trend by delivering the resilience, cost-effectiveness and predictable performance that enterprise customers need to deploy flash broadly.”

Dietzen said that since the company announced a $150 million venture financing round in August last year – “the largest ever in enterprise storage history” - the company had achieved several significant milestones in 2013, including:

•    700% YoY bookings growth

•    Achieved greater than 50% sequential growth quarterly for entirety of 2013

•    Deployed 10+ Pure FlashArrays at multiple customer sites, creating “>1PB club” (in terms of usable flash deployed)

•    Grew the customer base YoY by 650%

•    99.999% availability across the entire customer base

•    Shipped the 1000th flash array

•    Tripled channel reach and productivity to include a multi tiered network of over 200 partner organisations signed and     on-boarded worldwide, sourcing 40% of new business

•    Recognised by Gartner with its Cool Vendor Award 2013

•    Saw 50% of bookings come from repeat customers

•    Opened offices all over the world, including Germany, Netherlands, UK, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Australia and New     Zealand, as well as major cities across the US.

According to Dietzen, since its release of the FlashArray, Pure Storage has “innovated new business practices that flip tired sales and service norms on their head, replacing them with innovative offerings that put the customer first.”

He said the innovations included the introduction of Forever Flash, “revolutionising the way customers purchase and maintain enterprise storage.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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