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Pure Storage launches AIRI Mini, aims to take NVMe mainstream

The company is looking to bridge traditional storage approaches with new scale-out applications for artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Pure Storage outlined its architecture plans to meld data, storage with new workloads such as artificial intelligence as well as new consumption models.

The general idea is that Pure's Data Centric Architecture will enable more as-a-service delivery models, help make machine learning mainstream and push NVMe technology to more enterprises. NVMe is short for NVM Express and is a standard to access non-volatile storage faster.

Pure's roadmap is built around the idea that companies will move from treating data as an information asset to one where storing, sharing and analyzing on-premises and in the cloud is more important.

"The storage mindset is changing to shared data services," said Matt Kixmoeller, vice president of strategy at Pure. "A data centric architecture enables data as a service within a company and bridges classic storage architecture with scale out approaches."

In a slide, here's the architecture approach.

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To support that effort, Pure outlined a series of building blocks. For starters, the company outlined the FlashArray//X, which features NVMe and Flash and more configurations.

The FlashArray//X family is designed to support storage consolidation efforts and bridge various technologies. The FlashArray//X90 can deliver 3 petabytes of capacity in a 6 unit form factor.

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Kixmoeller said that Pure isn't charging premium prices for NVMe because the technology is going to be mainstream. "NVMe is not some exotic thing," he said.

On the AI front, Pure launched the AIRI-Mini, which is an integrated system powered by Nvidia, designed for AI workloads. Nvidia and Pure outlined the AIRI this year, but the AIRI-Mini provides a system for smaller deployments and companies. The AIRI is built on Pure's FlashBlade and is designed for data science teams and their projects.

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The AIRI-Mini is configured with 7x 17TB blades, two Nvidia DGX-1 servers and 100GbE switches. The AIRI uses Nvidia's GPU cloud and deep learning stack. The AIRI portfolio is also available with Cisco's Nexus9000 switches.

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Pure also added a new consumption model called the Evergreen Storage Service (ES2), which will put the FlashArray on-premises with a cloud consumption model. Pure manages the hardware and customers can pay for baseline capacity, but have the flexibility to handle bursts.

The goal or Pure is to deliver more storage-as-as-service deployments. Pure said that ES2 can be onboarded in days with terms as short as a year. Under the Evergreen Gold three-year plan, Pure includes the latest generation of FlashArray controllers.