IBM FlashSystem vs Pure Storage FlashArray comparison

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91% willing to recommend
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99% willing to recommend
Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Oct 3, 2022

We performed a comparison between IBM FlashSystems and Pure Storage FlashArray based on our users’ reviews in four categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: For the most part, users of both solutions feel their setup is easy and straightforward.
  • Features: Users feel both solutions provide excellent deduplication and compression features.

    IBM Flash System users tell us the solution is very easy to administer and provides good performance. IBM FlashSystems has made a good effort to become a more user-friendly solution and is also easy to configure. Some users feel the overall design is archaic and should be updated.

    Pure Storage FlashArray provides users with a clear management view of all the processes, ease of provision, and deprovision. The solution is user friendly, has fast performance, and provides smooth code upgrades. Users would like to see larger capacity, more storage ports, and feel file functionality could be better.
  • Pricing: Users of both solutions consider the pricing to be expensive.

  • Service and Support: Users of both solutions feel the service and support they receive has been excellent.

Comparison Results: PeerSpot users find Pure Storage FlashArray easy to use and say it offers very low latency and excellent efficiency of their deduplication technology. The features in data protection, snapshotting, and replication between data centers and sites are better than many other solutions in today’s robust marketplace.

To learn more, read our detailed IBM FlashSystem vs. Pure Storage FlashArray Report (Updated: March 2024).
767,496 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"Pure has signature security technology, which cannot be deleted, even if you are an administrator.""It's incredibly easy to use and greatly simplified our ability to both deploy and manage our storage subsystems.""FlashArray has some fresh efficiency features. I've never seen a storage solution with a compression rating this high before. It's at least 4-to-1 on Oracle databases. It's the best flash storage for Oracle.""The solution is very straightforward to set up.""Technical support has been helpful and responsive.""The standout features for us in Pure FlashArray X NVMe are its robust DDoS protection, seamless transparent failover, and failback capabilities ensuring high availability.""Overall stability is very good. It is a very stable solution.""What I really like about this program, is that it is easy to use and easy to configurate."

More Pure FlashArray X NVMe Pros →

"They have a virtualization feature and, even if you do not want to buy that feature, you can have it as a trial for two to three months. If you have another brand of storage from another company, you can use this tool to transfer all your data from the old system to the new Storwize system, which really shortens the migration time.""IBM FlashSystem has an easy to use GUI, similar to the IBM Storewize family, which make it one of the best flash storage systems in the market.""The valuable features for us are the extra add-ons, such as the FIM provisioning, the compression, the disaster recovery capabilities, and the storage pooling functions.""The Flash core models offer amazing performance.""IBM FlashSystem is a powerful effective storage solution. Additionally, it is user-friendly, anyone can use it.""The initial customer technical support was efficient and effective.""The initial setup was really straightforward. It was not complex. Deployment took one month, due to the data migration duration.""Data deduplication is one of the most valuable features of this solution."

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"One of the features that my customers are really interested in is immutable snapshots. There are immutable snapshots to which your applications can be reverted back if you are hit by some kind of ransomware threat or malicious attack. That's kind of a key deal, and it is one of the selling points I use to point out to my customers the value and the features that Pure Storage brings to the table.""The most valuable feature is its upgradeability.""I like the speed, and I like the API and how programmable it is.""We've had different types of storage, and three things of this solution are valuable. The first one is its outstanding performance. The second one is its stability. In the about three years that we've had it, we've had component failures, but we never had a service interruption or any data loss. The third one, which is really critical, is that it is super easy to use in terms of provisioning, storage, and managing the arrays. I'm able to maintain a multi-site environment with a couple of dozen arrays with a single mid-level storage admin.""The amount of data that I have moved to it from legacy storage has enabled us to retire units that are three or four times the physical size.""It is always out of the box, and ready to use.""The deduplication and compression rates are beyond impressive.""The speed is the most valuable feature of this solution."

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Cons
"They could add more support for file storage and different types of storage.""In terms of what needs improvement, the dashboard and management could be simplified.""Many options to check performance, like read, writes, random writes, and random reads, are missing in Pure FlashArray X NVMe.""If the customer only needs 500 terabytes and doesn't care how much data they'll put in the server, IBM is cheaper than Pure.""The tool's portfolio is minimal. It is expensive.""We need better data deduplication.""The UI for this solution needs to be improved.""We have run into a couple of instances recently where we are running out of space. So we have had to buy some more packs for it and they have deployed fine and it has increased smoothly."

More Pure FlashArray X NVMe Cons →

"The data reduction pool feature sucks and is not recommended for use with heavy workloads.""I think the only thing the developers can look at, is that it is limited to 25 gigabytes currently. In the next release they might want to increase that.""The solution is not easy to implement. It takes a lot of time to study the product and it's a little complicated in general.""The marketing could be improved.""The design is a little old-fashioned and could be updated. The rack is very primitive and designed in an older style.""If you want to expand, you cannot expand the disc enclosure. You have to buy a total individual node. Sometimes, this is difficult because we are just looking for capacity and not a node.""The initial setup is complex.""IBM FlashSystems is lagging in optimizing storage technologies."

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"In the next release of the solution I would like to see Vormetric native block encryption.""I want to learn more about command line usage which I have not explored much yet. However, there are many automated solutions for repetitive tasks. I would like to see additional features like performance monitoring, configuring of alerts, and the customization of alert thresholds in the next release.""We have not seen a reduction in our TCO nor have we seen ROI.""If they could make it cheaper, that would be something.""The price of this solution could be improved.""It took us a year to get it to stabilize and to get the best out of Pure.""Automation could be simplified.""A three wave application or multi wave application synchronization would be an improvement."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "With Pure Storage, we would like to continue seeing price reductions with flash storage. I don't think we're any different than anybody else when we continue to look to the industry for price reductions of both NVMe and traditional SSD storage. We would like to see these prices continue to decline and erode, even displacing large spinning disks."
  • "We pay approximately $50,000 USD per year in licensing fees."
  • "With VMware, we pay $300,000 annually."
  • "Our licensing fees are $500,000+ USD."
  • "As far as the licensing costs, everything is included in the license."
  • "They can tout the functionality and cutting edge technology that they have, but that's where the price tag comes in. The cost is high, but I think as they grow their business and get more customers that it will probably go down a little bit."
  • "Its price could be better. It is not too expensive, but it is the high-end cost. It is kind of a Rolls-Royce. You pay a lot, but you get a lot out of it. So, the price pressure on the way down would be great, but at the end of the day, if you need to do the work, you just pay for it."
  • "The licensing is on a yearly basis."
  • More Pure FlashArray X NVMe Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Pricing can be considered as per market competition."
  • "The total storage capacity vs price is still quite high for the IBM Flash Array."
  • "It pays to go back and get the best price you can from your supplier. The first offer is not always at the best discount."
  • "Regarding licensing make sure you add at least three years software maintenance from IBM at the beginning, because you will not be able to download firmware updates or any fixes/patches without this."
  • "IBM V7000 has a new license and price structure which provides intuitive licensing based on the functions customers wish to enable and use the most."
  • "The pricing has been very competitive for the last few years. IBM got to the point where they changed the pricing model and we feel very comfortable with the pricing. It's very competitive. Over the last two years, IBM has been coming up with all kinds of interesting promos, especially for the SMB systems. That makes it very competitive price-wise and in terms of performance..."
  • "For a yearly license, it is about $100,000. There are no additional costs. The entire system is included."
  • "The integration is already included in the license cost of IBM FlashSystem. The integration is very easy. You get the IBM storage core with all software, firmware, and upgrades. EMC provides the features in the box, but they are not free for customers. There is a licensing cost for features. We have yearly licensing, but IBM has also provided a new option where you pay as you go. They provide a big box, and I pay, for example, for 10 terabytes. If I exceed 10 terabytes, IBM will charge for the new storage after 10 terabytes. It is a good opportunity in the market for using the storage as a cloud and paying as you go."
  • More IBM FlashSystem Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "We feel that the pricing is fair and the licensing process was easy for both."
  • "There is always room for negotiation."
  • "The price was slightly higher than others, but competitive, if you consider all the other features that you get from it."
  • "It is a more expensive solution, but it is worth it. You are getting what you paid for."
  • "For pricing, you have to take into account their performance on deduplication and compression in a $/GB comparison."
  • "We have seen a reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO)."
  • "It is a cheaper solution."
  • "Pure Storage is all-flash, so this sometimes tends to make it a bit more expensive in the beginning."
  • More Pure Storage FlashArray Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Comparison Review
    Anonymous User
    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:The standout features for us in Pure FlashArray X NVMe are its robust DDoS protection, seamless transparent failover… more »
    Top Answer:I would rate the solution as an eight out of ten in terms of costliness.
    Top Answer:There is room for improvement in catering to midrange storage needs, especially for customers seeking Enterprise-class… more »
    Top Answer:The most valuable feature of the solution is SCM (Storage Class Memory), which has the lowest latency value in the… more »
    Top Answer:The solution's infrastructure technology level could be PCI Express 5 instead of PCI Express 4 for the next version. In… more »
    Top Answer:Both are great platforms, but if you are considering all flash solutions, I would recommend you to consider Pure… more »
    Top Answer:We consume less physical storage because of the solution’s deduplication and compression.
    Top Answer:We have customers who use a three-year or five-year license. We also have customers who use Evergreen.
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Pure FlashArray//X NVMe, Pure FlashArray//X, FlashArray//X
    IBM Storwize
    Learn More
    Overview

    Pure Storage FlashArray//X is the world’s first enterprise-class, all-NVMe flash storage array. It represents a new class of storage – shared accelerated storage, which is a term coined by Gartner – that delivers major breakthroughs in performance, simplicity, and consolidation.

    IBM FlashSystem products are enterprise computer data storage systems that store data on flash memory chips. Unlike storage systems that use standard solid-state drives, IBM FlashSystem products incorporate custom hardware based on technology from the 2012 acquisition of Texas Memory Systems. This hardware provides performance, reliability, and efficiency benefits versus competitive offerings.

    Pure Storage FlashArray is the world’s first enterprise-class storage array that runs exclusively on the nonvolatile memory express (NVMe) protocol for memory access and storage. It represents a totally state-of-the-art type of storage technology. It offers users shared accelerated storage that delivers cutting-edge features in the realms of performance, simplicity, and consolidation. Pure Storage is fresh and modern today and will be for the next decade. Without forklift upgrades or planned downtime, Pure Storage takes the work out of storage ownership and delivers unprecedented customer satisfaction.

    Pure Storage FlashArray is built with simplicity and reliability in mind. The solution can be implemented and optimized in hours, as opposed to other similar solutions that can take days. It has no moving parts, which removes areas where it could potentially be vulnerable to suffering errors. It is highly stable and gives users the ability to manage system shutdowns in a way that  prevents data loss.

    Benefits of Pure Storage FlashArray

    Some of the benefits of using Pure Storage FlashArray include:

    • A much higher level of speed than similar pieces of technology. Pure Storage FlashArray maximizes the speed at which data can be transferred while at the same time minimizing system latencies that might slow the transfer down. Additionally, it offers users quick memory read and data access speeds.

    • A higher bang for your buck in terms of the storage capabilities you get for the money you pay. They are smaller in size than more standard storage technologies, but they offer flash memory, which enables users to store larger amounts of data than the current standard.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Pure Storage FlashArray is a highly effective piece of storage technology which stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its overall robustness and the value that it offers by way of its reliability and ease of use. It provides users with many valuable features that allow them to maximize what they can do with this solution. Pure Storage FlashArray’s reliability and ease of use make it a highly valuable solution. 

    PeerSpot user Prabakaran K., a technical consultant at Injazat Data Systems, notes the robustness of this solution when he writes, "FlashArray has many valuable features. It's very user-friendly and it has high availability, so there is comparatively less downtime. During maintenance, there is no shutdown procedure, so you can directly power off the Array and manage the shutdown process without any data loss, which is a unique feature. Managing replication and data migration is also very easy."

    PeerSpot user Jason D., a cloud solutions architect at a tech services company, notes three features that make this solution valuable when he writes, "We've had different types of storage, and three things of this solution are valuable. The first one is its outstanding performance. The second one is its stability. In the about three years that we've had it, we've had component failures, but we never had a service interruption or any data loss. The third one, which is really critical, is that it is super easy to use in terms of provisioning, storage, and managing the arrays. I'm able to maintain a multi-site environment with a couple of dozen arrays with a single mid-level storage admin."

    Sample Customers
    Fremont Bank, Judson ISD, The Nielsen Company
    Celero, Friedhelm Loh Group, Clarks, Mingkang Natregro Health Food Group, Sofia, Etisalat Fights Fraud, UF Health Shands Hospital, Generali, Elecon Engineering Company Limited, Ventiv , Technology, CPFL Energia, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., SciQuest, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, Paddy Power, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, Interconnect Services, Severstal IP-Only AB, PVU Group GmbH
    Nielsen, Lamar Advertising, LinkedIn, Betfair, UT-Dallas
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company25%
    Financial Services Firm15%
    Comms Service Provider15%
    Manufacturing Company15%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company17%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Government6%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm28%
    Computer Software Company12%
    Government8%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company18%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm19%
    Healthcare Company12%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Computer Software Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization32%
    Computer Software Company12%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business37%
    Midsize Enterprise27%
    Large Enterprise37%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise61%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise48%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise55%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise57%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business17%
    Midsize Enterprise40%
    Large Enterprise42%
    Buyer's Guide
    IBM FlashSystem vs. Pure Storage FlashArray
    March 2024
    Find out what your peers are saying about IBM FlashSystem vs. Pure Storage FlashArray and other solutions. Updated: March 2024.
    767,496 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    IBM FlashSystem is ranked 6th in All-Flash Storage with 105 reviews while Pure Storage FlashArray is ranked 3rd in All-Flash Storage with 174 reviews. IBM FlashSystem is rated 8.2, while Pure Storage FlashArray is rated 9.2. The top reviewer of IBM FlashSystem writes "An easy GUI and simple provisioning but our model does not support compression". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Pure Storage FlashArray writes "Effective provisioning, helpful support, and reliable". IBM FlashSystem is most compared with Dell PowerStore, Dell Unity XT, NetApp AFF, Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform and HPE Nimble Storage, whereas Pure Storage FlashArray is most compared with Dell PowerStore, NetApp AFF, HPE Nimble Storage, VMware vSAN and Dell Unity XT. See our IBM FlashSystem vs. Pure Storage FlashArray report.

    See our list of best All-Flash Storage vendors.

    We monitor all All-Flash Storage reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.