IBM FlashSystem vs Pure Storage FlashArray comparison

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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).
771,740 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
"The most valuable feature of this solution is reliability.""Pure has signature security technology, which cannot be deleted, even if you are an administrator.""One of the best features is the support, which is excellent.""The system allows for seamless learning experiences, facilitating quick and easy cloning of environments within minutes.""What I really like about this program, is that it is easy to use and easy to configurate.""The high availability of the product is the most valuable feature.""We're able to get higher-density workloads on the same infrastructure, and we have a smaller physical footprint. The performance is excellent – during our test the bottlenecks are never on the X array, it just keeps picking up the pace to match what you need. The real-time visibility is a differentiator in my opinion.""It has good, reliable, fast storage."

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"At the FlashSystem level, customers are especially fond of multi-tier and distributed rate systems, particularly the dynamic rate six arrays.""The price-performance ratio is most valuable.""The valuable features are high availability, compression, and a failover mechanism. It's a very highly available storage solution.""The most valuable feature of the solution is replication...Stability-wise, I rate the solution a nine out of ten.""The speed, performance, and stability are the best features of IBM FlashSystem.""The all-flash storage has tier replication capabilities.""The most valuable features were the performance of the array, i.e., very low latency and high IOPS. Plus, the management interface is very easy to use.""The most valuable features of IBM FlashSystem are performance and security."

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"The most valuable features of Pure Storage FlashArray are management and administration user-friendliness, provisioning, and performance.""The performance of the storage is just unbelievable.""We also use VMware integrations developed by Pure, their plugins in our vCenter environment. They help by allowing our non-technical operations teams to deploy new data stores and resize data stores without me having to involve myself all the time to do those simple tasks.""It upgrades in place which means we'll be using it well into the future.""It helps to simplify storage. For most of our customers, when they move to Pure Storage, storage becomes an afterthought.""Data deduplication is one feature I found to be the most valuable in the tool...Stability-wise, I rate the solution a ten out of ten.""The most valuable feature is replication.""Most of the problems that we had in the past with the performance in IOPS have disappeared. It has been a great improvement for our customers' services."

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Cons
"In the future, I would like to see integration with enterprise backup systems.""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.""The tool's pricing is higher than competitors.""I would like to see replication and DR features in the next release of this solution.""Every time I think of something that needs to improve, they're one step ahead, which I love. The only area I wish to see improve, I believe is coming, is in the FlashBlade product. Blade implementation fell short on a few of the services.""You cannot tag a LUN with a description, and that should be improved. What I like on the Unity side is that when I expand LUNs or do things, there is an information field on the LUN. This is the Information field that you can tag on your LUNs to let yourself know, "Hey, I've added this much space on this date". Pure lacks that ability. So, you don't have a mechanism that's friendly for tracking your data expansions on the LUN and for adding any additional information. That's a downside for me.""It's more multi-tenant functionality in their Pure1 manage portal that is lacking.""It is on the expensive side."

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"The price is very costly.""I know they have a flashcopy manager, but it is extra software, an additional license, and some customers don't like to add addition costs to their infrastructure. If IBM could create, or include snapshot management within the GUI, that would really be helpful.""They can include Amazon file system S3 protocol in the upcoming releases. It is a cloud file system. IBM FlashSystem doesn't have this feature in the box for high-end or mid-range. We have got requests for this from customers because we need to use S3 for EDI application storage. At the beginning of every year, IBM releases firmware. When I find any bugs in the firmware during the year, I am unable to find any information from IBM regarding the bug. I need to open a ticket, and the IBM engineering team makes a patch only for me. This patch is not public. By creating a customized patch for a client, they don't really solve the issue for everyone. If multiple users have the same bug, IBM should upload the patch on the official website so that we can download it. IBM FlashSystem has a monitoring tool in the box, but it is not advanced. I need a more advanced tool for more advanced equations and monitoring. All top three storage vendors, that is, EMC, IBM, and Pure Storage, don't have a powerful monitoring tool. To monitor our box to show the statistics for I/Os and latency, I need to pay for extra software. The built-in monitoring storage is not mature enough to handle all requests and generate all reports that I need. They can include the functionality to stretch a cluster natively without using any additional boxes. In addition, there are some features that EMC has integrated with the box. These features are not available in IBM FlashSystem.""The data reduction pool feature sucks and is not recommended for use with heavy workloads.""They don't offer subscription-based payments.""The interface could improve in IBM FlashSystem.""Cloud file sharing is an area that needs improvement.""The solution's infrastructure technology level could be PCI Express 5 instead of PCI Express 4 for the next version."

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"I would like to see them lower the costs.""If we suddenly dump large amounts of data onto the storage system, it takes a while to process it.""It would be nice to have a better view of the allocated capacity on their Platform as a Service solution because we have to do some manual calculations to understand how much we are going to pay every month to use the storage that is allocated.""I recognize it's a difficult challenge, but I would like to see them make the pricing more reasonable.""We understand that they're thinking about it, but one of the things that would be nice is if they added some basic file-level capabilities to the platform. The idea is that they would run a basic NFS or CIF share from the controllers. FlashBlade is the powerhouse for File and Object storage, but if you don't need all that power, a lightweight file function would make FlashArrays more versatile.""Pure Storage FlashArray could improve in the area of cryptographic information in the consoles. The user-friendliness could improve. The Pure Storage FlashArray team should come and log into the system with their maintenance credentials and then pull out the information as evidence of cryptography.""I would like to see more detailed reporting on the data. However, it would be nice to know what are the exact VMs usage after deduplication and/or what that VMs actual latency and bandwidth is, outside of VMware.""One thing I'd like to see in a future release is integration between their main storage array and what they call their FlashBlade product; to be able to snapshot directly from the primary array into multiple different backup copies on FlashBlade."

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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:I rate the pricing a three out of ten. The tool is cost-efficient. The prices are good.
    Top Answer:Customization features must be improved.
    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 Company23%
    Financial Services Firm18%
    Manufacturing Company18%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company17%
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Government7%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm28%
    Computer Software Company12%
    Government8%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company18%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Government7%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm19%
    Healthcare Company12%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Computer Software Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Educational Organization31%
    Computer Software Company12%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise28%
    Large Enterprise34%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise60%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise47%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise54%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise57%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business18%
    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.
    771,740 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    IBM FlashSystem is ranked 6th in All-Flash Storage with 106 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 Huawei OceanStor Dorado, 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.