IBM FlashSystem vs Pure Storage FlashArray comparison

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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: November 2022).
657,849 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
"It's very easy to manage.""The technical support for this solution is good. They used to help us when the motherboard of Power Systems broke. Their response times are really fast.""The performance of IBM FlashSystem is very good. The new technology and high throughput have given us more confidence in the solution. The management of the system has improved and we can control the monitoring system alerts and multiple FlashSystems with the Enterprise Cloud Edition, which is free. The migration of recently stored data to a new flash is much easier. You can move your data because you can utilize it externally.""IBM FlashSystem is a stable solution.""One of the most valuable features is that it's very easy to use and configure. It used to be more difficult, but now it's almost flawless.""The most valuable feature in demand is virtualization and its support storage of virtualization features.""This solution is really user friendly. It also offers good performance and is highly reliable.""Installing FlashSystem is very easy. It takes less than half an hour, and I can handle it all myself."

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"It is always out of the box, and ready to use.""The code upgrades are very smooth.""I like FlashArray's ActiveCluster as well as its snapshot and cloning capabilities.""The most valuable features of Pure Storage FlashArray are simplicity, ease of use, and dashboard management.""The most valuable features of Pure Storage FlashArray are the management view of the solutions, ease of provision, and deprovision, it is fantastic.""The solution offers amazing performance.""The most valuable features in Pure Storage FlashArray are deduplication and active cluster.""The management is simple in Pure Storage FlashArray."

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Cons
"The installation is not easy. You need to have extensive knowledge to handle it.""IBM FlashSystems is lagging in optimizing storage technologies.""The price is very costly.""This product lacks some of the options we wanted. For example, expansion was difficult and it required a lot of patching to be done.""Cloud file sharing is an area that needs improvement.""In the next release having the next level of high-speed performance would be great.""It is slightly more expensive, however, it all depends on your supplier.""The storage capacity of this solution could be improved."

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"When we were doing some tests, we found that there was an I/O freeze when they were switching the controller.""The integration capabilities could be improved.""There are many features which need to be added, particularly on the replication side.""A minor issue that comes to mind is that, every once in a while, a hard drive will go bad.""On a couple of occasions, the waiting time for an upgrade has been pretty substantial.""I would like a feature to integrate with external or cloud solutions. For example, if I want to use this storage for a backup from the cloud, I want to have integration with the cloud vendors, such as Microsoft, Oracles, or Amazon. It could be available as an API to allow seamless integration. Additionally, the solution could improve by having native integration with a cloud provider, such as VMware or Microsoft, this would reduce the need to use third-party solutions to complete the task.""The price of the solution can improve.""This product has only two active controllers, whereas other solutions can have more. This is something that needs to improve."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "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."
  • "Overall the price of the solution is expensive and this includes the license."
  • "The cost of the IBM FlashSystem is lower than the HPE solution."
  • "The pricing may be a bit higher than other brands. If you compare the IBM FlashSystems in midrange with Dell EMC in midrange, IBM costs a bit more, but I prefer IBM because it has more specs that I can benefit from."
  • 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
    Top Answer:As with any engineered solution, it depends on your needs.   However, the bottom line is that for their target markets Dell EMC Unity will generally have a better price at parity performance over… more »
    Top Answer:The most crucial feature of IBM FlashSystem is compression.
    Top Answer:My customers got the IBM FlashSystem bundle offer. It was a one-time purchase for three years of service. The price would depend on the storage size and could reach between $25,000 to $55,000.
    Top Answer:Both are great platforms, but if you are considering all flash solutions, I would recommend you to consider Pure Storage. It may be more expensive, but it should pay for itself for its… more »
    Top Answer:We find the ease of usability and setup valuable.
    Top Answer:The licensing cost is close to zero. Every new function or functionality is included when paying the annual maintenance. Our customers value it because the maintenance is always the same regardless of… more »
    Ranking
    7th
    Views
    14,725
    Comparisons
    11,838
    Reviews
    32
    Average Words per Review
    390
    Rating
    8.4
    2nd
    Views
    23,316
    Comparisons
    15,053
    Reviews
    43
    Average Words per Review
    496
    Rating
    9.1
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    IBM Storwize
    Learn More
    Overview

    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
    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
    Financial Services Firm26%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Computer Software Company9%
    Government9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company23%
    Comms Service Provider18%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    Government6%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm20%
    Healthcare Company12%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    Government7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company21%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business36%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise48%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise57%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise57%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise62%
    Buyer's Guide
    IBM FlashSystem vs. Pure Storage FlashArray
    November 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about IBM FlashSystem vs. Pure Storage FlashArray and other solutions. Updated: November 2022.
    657,849 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    IBM FlashSystem is ranked 7th in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 35 reviews while Pure Storage FlashArray is ranked 2nd in All-Flash Storage Arrays with 44 reviews. IBM FlashSystem is rated 8.4, while Pure Storage FlashArray is rated 9.0. 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 Primera, HPE Nimble Storage, NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS) and Dell Unity XT, whereas Pure Storage FlashArray is most compared with Dell PowerStore, NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS), VMware vSAN, HPE Nimble Storage and Dell Unity XT. 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.