FlashBlade is Pure Storage’s billion dollar babe

Pure Storage’s beancounters say the company is close to surpassing $1bn sales revenue for its groundbreaking FlashBlade all-flash storage array.

The company this week said it gained several hundred customers in its fiscal 2021 (ended January 2021) and claimed more than 25 per cent of the Fortune 100 are Flash Blade customers.

FlashBlade delivers unified file and object storage using proprietary flash drives. The system is used as a backup target where rapid restores are needed. Prior to FlashBlade’s arrival on the storage scene in January 2017, all-flash arrays were used for primary data storage – with predominantly block access – only. It now quite usual for filers and object storage companies to support all-flash configurations.

FlashBlade bezel

The company said FlashBlade has recorded consistent year-over-year growth every quarter since launch. In January 2019 Pure said FlashBlade had a $250m run rate, based on $55.1m revenues in the quarter.

Matt Burr, Pure’s VP and GM for FlashBlade, revealed in December 2020 that “FlashBlade’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past two and a half years has been 79 per cent. [and] FlashBlade is built to meet the mass transition of file and object to flash that we anticipate in the next two to three years. “

FlashBlade uses TLC NAND. Pure introduced a QLC FlashArray//C in August 2020 to attack hybrid flash/disk array competition as part of an extended FlashArray primary storage array product line.

FlashArray//C has a 5.9PB effective maximum capacity, compared to FlashBlade’s 3.3PB effective maximum. Blocks & Files would not be surprised if Pure introduced a new FlashBlade model using QLC flash and with a substantially higher maximum effective capacity than 3.3PB.