No Vendor PS BS – DIY Storage Capacity Adds

It is wildly known how Pure Storage has embedded SIMPLICITY into every aspect of our product.  This core design tenant has tremendous benefits to our partners and customers while forcing dramatic disruption to the legacy storage providers.  In our view, if a vendor creates professional services sku’s, we believe this highlights three things:

  1. Cost
  2. Complexity
  3. Competition/Conflict – Who delivers the services?  Partner? Storage Vendor?

We are a “channel friendly” and “channel only” model which means we fully embrace our channel ecosystem.  This is what I call the “This is how we roll” model.  It’s SIMPLE!

Continuing down the SIMPLE path, lets see what it takes to add some additional capacity to an existing Pure Storage FlashArray.  Everything I reference below is based on a real live production customer.

DIY Storage Capacity Adds | What Happens in the GUI?


When adding another shelf to an existing Pure FlashArray, you don’t always have the benefit of access to the GUI (unless you have figured out how to clone yourself). A common questions asked: what shall we expect once you plug the shelf in? Beyond technical curiosity, this question is asked by the storage admin because you are touching a production asset with potentially 100TB + in production. Here is a summary of the experience through the GUI and subsequent screen shots during intervals of the shelf addition:

  • Once plugged-in & powered on, ten seconds later, the third shelf, which was green, now looks yellow. In the screen shots shown here, the user did not logout and log back in.
  • The drives appear yellow at first. As they are acknowledged by the system, they turn green. As they turn green, the Total Capacity number in the GUI continues to grow.
  • This was an non-disruptive on-line upgrade. Note the I/O to the system as the shelf is added.
  • The entire process takes about 2.5 minutes. Yes, 4 cables and 2.5 minutes later, you have your full capacity.  SIMPLE?  Check!

Figure 1. A screen shot of the GUI just before the shelf is powered on. Highlighted here is the picture of the GUI on the left & the Total Capacity on the right.

Figure 2. The GUI shows Shelf02 (third shelf) going all yellow; this is Shelf03 (fourth shelf) being ingested by Purity. As noted above, we never logged out of the Pure Storage Dashboard, which would have shown all 4 shelves with the 4th shelf yellow.  Note that all drives are yellow; the Total Capacity has not grown higher (yet).

Figure 3. As the drives appear green in the GUI, the Total Capacity number begins to grow. Until this user logged out and back in, the shelf appeared as Shelf02 (third shelf).

Figure 4. More drives appear green; Total Capacity continues to grow.

Figure 5. Figures 5, 6 & 7 show more green and a higher Total Capacity number.

Figure 6.

Figure 7.

Figure 8. All drives are green and the 24.94TB Total Capacity is indicated.

Figure 9. The user has logged out and in; the GUI shows the system as a 4-shelf system all during production hours and without any disruption to the applications.

As you can see, the process for adding additional capacity is quite SIMPLE and any Pure Storage Partner can help you through this process if you prefer.  Yet another example of our Non-Disruptive Everything approach to enterprise storage.  We believe our product continues to drive out the legacy process, services, and support.  In the end, the customers win if we are able to drive out any extra cost or complexity.

Watch for my next blog post around “Executing on a Vision Part #2” which will take this Non-Disruptive Everything to another level around a real life use case doing generational upgrades.  More OrangeStorage Awesome-sauce coming your way!

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