Pure Storage

Pure Storage® is a leading provider of enterprise-grade, all-flash block, file, and object storage. Pure delivers a Modern Data Experience™, allowing you to rely on innovative, cloud-ready solutions and the best experience in technology to transform data into powerful outcomes.

Who Founded Pure Storage?

Initially founded in 2009 under the code name Os76 Inc., the story of Pure Storage starts in the offices of Sutter Hill Ventures where John “Coz” Colgrove, a veteran inventor in the storage space, and John Hayes, former CTO of Yahoo!, teamed up to rethink enterprise data storage. 

Advances in MLC flash technology had recently reduced the cost of solid-state drives (SSDs) enough for them to gain traction as viable alternatives to the hard-disk drives (HDDs) used in laptops and desktop computers. The ubiquity of commodity flash for consumer electronics meant the technology was ready to be taken to the next level: enterprise all-flash storage arrays. 

Pure’s founders envisioned developing an enterprise storage solution that could deliver:

  • All the performance benefits of flash storage, including orders of magnitude more IOPS (input/output operations per second) vs. disk-based storage
  • A competitive cost per gigabyte for enterprise storage applications
  • Built-in data redundancy, resiliency, and security
  • A simplified flexible storage management system that’s easy to deploy, maintain, and upgrade without disruptions or downtimes 

Additionally, they had to contend with the single biggest hurdle holding flash storage back: endurance. The flash drives of 2009 could only support 10,000 read/write cycles—not enough memory real estate for the types of loads handled by enterprise data centers. 

They solved this problem by designing block storage array software specifically for solid-state devices. They started with a flexible software architecture consisting of two layers: 

  • A lower layer dedicated to the optimization of the physical storage medium for performance, reliability, and longevity 
  • An upper layer to handle storage management system-level tasks, including virtualization, communication with hosts, data reduction, scheduling internal I/O, RAID protection, and overall array management 

Suffice it to say, Coz, Hayes, and the rest of the Pure Storage team succeeded in deploying their vision. In January 2010, Os76 exited stealth mode and changed its name to Pure Storage. In August 2011, Pure Storage launched its first commercially available all-flash block storage array: FlashArray 300 Series. Today, Pure Storage offers a variety of enterprise-grade all-flash solutions for block, file, and object storage. 

Of course, technology is only one part of the story behind Pure’s success.