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IBM FlashSystem vs Pure Storage FlashArray comparison

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IBM FlashSystem vs. Pure Storage FlashArray
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM FlashSystem vs. Pure Storage FlashArray and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"There's lots of flexibility in how we use the resources while also maintaining a small footprint.""We have been able to consolidate storage into Pavilion. Pavilions are our only SANs because it is a bring your own disk solution. When new drives come out, we are able to take out half of the drives in the system, put in new drives, move our VMs over to the new drives, take the other drives out, and populate those with new drives. Then, we are suddenly twice as dense as we were before. NVMe flash is only going to get denser and cheaper so we can make use of that every couple of years by just throwing newer disks into it at a fraction of the cost of a new SAN.""The high performance is very valuable, as well as the enterprise reliability features."

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"The performance is very good and we use this product to enhance our core system.""The power systems are very reliable if you are running 24/7 operations. For ongoing mission-critical applications, it's the best solution.""IBM FlashSystem is a stable solution.""One of the valuable features is the performance, it is one of the best in the market.""When it comes to the interface of the solution we did not encounter any challenges. Additionally, the solution has good documentation.""The most valuable features are deduplication and compression, which together, enable you to have more space.""It's a mature product. It's like a BMW that evolves consistently.""IBM FlashSystem is a powerful effective storage solution. Additionally, it is user-friendly, anyone can use it."

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"The management features are well organized and they have a very good dashboard.""Support has been helpful.""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.""Access speed and power consumption are most valuable.""It's very fast and very easy to use. It performs well and is both flexible and compatible. We like it because it's easy to use.""The management is simple in Pure Storage FlashArray.""The most valuable feature is replication.""The most valuable feature of the Pure Storage Flash Array is the blazing fast monitoring."

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Cons
"The rail system that Pavilion uses to mount up into a standard Dell or APC cabinet extends further back than normal rails, and they cover up the zero PDU slot. So, I don't like the rail system that comes with the device. That is my biggest complaint.""I would like to see the management layer improved.""In our current configuration, we can only run the line controllers in high availability, active-standby mode, whereas we would like to see active-active implemented."

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"Their technical support needs improvement in terms of reachability for the clients and response times. They should be more responsive and have more online platforms for support. They should make more technical information available online. There could be some kind of documentation community.""The pricing needs to be more competitive.""The data reduction pool feature sucks and is not recommended for use with heavy workloads.""They can improve its initial configuration. The initial configuration is currently very difficult. There are multiple choices or alternative ways to configure based on the use case and what you are targeting out of the device, that is, more capacity or more performance. These multiple alternatives cause a lot of confusion. They should increase the processing part of the nodes. Currently, you can cluster up to eight nodes. From my experience and the workload that I am facing in my environment currently, I would like to see either a bigger or stronger node or a larger number of nodes that can be clustered together. We formally communicated to them that we need to see either this or that, and they are working on something.""The customer's expectations are what they get on the cloud, they're expecting even in the on-premises deployments, going forward.""The technical support in my region is satisfactory but it could improve. Support is very important for customers and downtime is very critical for us. We would like onsite or complete technical support which can help us to minimize our downtime or if problems occur.""The installation is not easy. You need to have extensive knowledge to handle it.""It is slightly more expensive, however, it all depends on your supplier."

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"Pure Storage support could be a little better.""I can't see where they can make anything better, unless, of course, they lower their prices even more.""Data reduction is an area that needs improvement. There is a garbage collection service that runs but during that time, system utilization increases.""It is way in excess of what we need. If anything, we could see a bit more speed. I'm just comparing it with what some of my colleagues who are implementing their own systems do.""We would like to be able to connect to data tape for backup, specifically to the LTO backups.""The integration capabilities could be improved.""When we were doing some tests, we found that there was an I/O freeze when they were switching the controller.""I feel like there is too much automation; the user doesn't have any manual input."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "This is hardware. They have a singular array that you can populate with your own disk, or you can buy the disks through them. For controllers, you pay for the components inside of the SAN, but there is only one chassis that they work with."
  • "The licensing fees are very reasonable."
  • More Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "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."
  • "They've been much more aggressive in the last five, six years than they were before that."
  • "This is an expensive product and if the price were reduced it would be better."
  • "Among IBM, Dell EMC, and Pure Storage, IBM is the cheapest. The price is also based on our location, the size of our entity, and our regular annual purchases from them. We are a very big IBM customer, so we normally get very high discounts. We are not a big customer of Pure Storage. We don't buy that much from Pure Storage per year. Everything is included in the price. There is no extra license for different functions."
  • "Its price is very good."
  • "I find the pricing of the solution to be very reasonable."
  • "You purchase it as a bundle and the price is comparable."
  • "The solution requires a license and could be less expensive."
  • More IBM FlashSystem Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Its price is almost double than any other flash storage solution."
  • "The price, in general, is around $100,000, however, I know it costs more."
  • "They have a standardized fee; it's been the same price for 10 years straight. I am happy with the price — I think it's good."
  • "We do not incur additional costs beyond the licensing fee."
  • "My organization has a yearly license, but I believe that Pure Storage FlashArray has capacity-based licenses as well. I'm definitely happy with the pricing."
  • "There is an annual or perpetual license required for this solution."
  • "Pure is typically more expensive than everyone else. You get what you pay for, but I have lost deals to similar solutions because of pricing. They include everything, and that's another positive about Pure Storage. They aren't trying to nickel and dime their customers for different features. It is all included in one price. The license is by capacity, and the price depends on the capacity and the discount we're getting from the vendor. You get the SKU of the physical appliance, support, and maintenance, and that's it. You're licensed for whatever feature they offer. It is all rolled up into the price of the appliance."
  • "The pricing is reasonable."
  • More Pure Storage FlashArray Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
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    Top Answer:As with any engineered solution, it depends on your needs.   However, the bottom line is that for their target markets… more »
    Top Answer:The most valuable features of IBM FlashSystem are performance and security.
    Top Answer:The price of IBM FlashSystem is a little high because you pay a premium because the solution is from IBM. We had paid… 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:The most valuable feature of the Pure Storage Flash Array is the blazing fast monitoring.
    Top Answer:The price of the Pure Storage Flash Array is too high and there needs to be more contact clarity. We went with the… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Pavilion HFA
    IBM Storwize
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    Overview

    Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform

    The Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform™ dramatically accelerates what organizations achieve by delivering universally unmatched storage performance, in an incredibly compact solution while reducing data center costs and complexity. Unrivaled flexibility for multiple data types and protocols, along with broad ecosystem integration, ensure that every customer has choice and control.

    What is the Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform

    The Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform is comprised of the Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array™ and Pavilion HyperOS™. The Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array leverages a unique, switch-based architecture to create a multi-controller solution that delivers an unmatched combination of high performance, ultra-low latency, and storage density. Pavilion HyperOS is a powerful, purpose-built storage operating system designed to unlock the power of the multi-controller Pavilion HyperParallel Flash Array, which delivers scalability and flexibility that no other solution can offer.

    Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform Data Sheet

    Download the Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform data sheet. Updated: December 2020

    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."

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    Sample Customers
    Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Statistics Netherlands (CBS)
    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
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company28%
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Government7%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm29%
    Government10%
    Comms Service Provider8%
    Healthcare Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company27%
    Comms Service Provider26%
    Financial Services Firm6%
    Government5%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm19%
    Healthcare Company12%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    Government7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company25%
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    Company Size
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business22%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise64%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business35%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise50%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise58%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise58%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise63%
    Buyer's Guide
    IBM FlashSystem vs. Pure Storage FlashArray
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about IBM FlashSystem vs. Pure Storage FlashArray and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    IBM FlashSystem is ranked 8th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 33 reviews while Pure Storage FlashArray is ranked 1st in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 38 reviews. IBM FlashSystem is rated 8.4, while Pure Storage FlashArray is rated 9.2. The top reviewer of IBM FlashSystem writes "Reliable and easy to configure with simple data migration capabilities ". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Pure Storage FlashArray writes "Provides protection against ransomware threats with immutable snapshots, and it is well known for its scalability, ease of use, and non-disruptive upgrades". IBM FlashSystem is most compared with Dell PowerStore, HPE Nimble Storage, Dell Unity XT, NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and HPE StorageWorks MSA, whereas Pure Storage FlashArray is most compared with Dell PowerStore, NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS), HPE Nimble Storage, Dell Unity XT and VMware vSAN. See our IBM FlashSystem vs. Pure Storage FlashArray report.

    See our list of best All-Flash Storage Arrays vendors.

    We monitor all All-Flash Storage Arrays 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.