"New challenges require new ways of thinking" – and Pure Storage is backing simplicity as its big selling point

Charlie Giancarlo, CEO at Pure Storage, speaking live on the keynote stage at Pure Accelerate 2024 in Las Vegas.
(Image credit: Pure Storage)

As Charlie Giancarlo, CEO at Pure Storage takes to the keynote stage at Pure Accelerate 2024, there’s no doubt in anyone's mind that he’s speaking to an audience dealing with an increasingly complex world.

There are “all these new challenges” in front of businesses in the current landscape, Giancarlo says. AI adoption is predictably front of mind for many, while the ever-changing cyber threat landscape and difficulties in application modernization are still present. 

These “new challenges require new ways of thinking,” Giancarlo elaborates. An assumption Giancarlo wishes to challenge as part of this new way of thinking is that storage is “inherently inefficient” and “complex to manage”.

Being its bread and butter as a company, Pure Storage is looking keenly to simplify storage. What if, instead of paying for a set amount of storage and ending up over-provisioning, you “only paid for what you use?” he asks the audience to consider.

This storage-as-a-service model has formed a part of Pure Storage’s messaging for a while, though it seems particularly pertinent now in the era of AI. As Prakash Darji, GM of the Digital Experience Business Unit at Pure Storage tells ITPro at the event, AI requires a much more flexible storage infrastructure.  

Pure Storage has made a clear push toward this throughout Pure Accelerate, gearing its strategy around ease of use.

To put it in one word as Shawn Hansen, VP and GM of flash array at Pure Storage,  deftly does during the day-one keynote, Pure Storage’s mission is all about “simplicity – simplicity is at the heart of everything we do at Pure Storage”.

A cohesive product message

Looking at the announcements Pure Storage has made at Pure Accelerate, this sense of simplicity and ease of use takes precedence as the firm leans on its storage credentials and posits itself as the go-to storage choice.

Take its newly unveiled AI offerings, such as the firm’s copilot for storage. Pure Storage has leaned into the user experience of natural language processing (NLP) here, saying the AI tool will give its customers greater control over their storage environments through a simple, easy-to-use natural language interface.

This new copilot changes the way “you simplify managing storage,” Hansen tells assembled press ahead of the keynotes, reinforcing Pure Storage’s commitment to simplicity as the key theme of the event. 

Later, Hansen tells the Pure Accelerate audience that he was “so excited about the revolutionary way of managing storage using natural language – it takes a decent storage admin and helps him or her become good, and it makes a good storage admin amazing”.

Also on the AI front, Pure Storage introduced a new Evergreen One for AI platform focused on supporting its customers with flexible and dynamic storage performance for the graphics processing units (GPUs) necessary to develop AI models. 

The offering comes with a service level agreement (SLA) to support its flexibility, as part of a wider range of SLAs announced at the event. In this announcement, Pure Storage further consolidates its commitment to simplicity, providing customers with certainty over potential concerns.

For example, Pure Storage’s ‘Enhanced Cyber Recovery and Resilience SLA’ and ‘Site Rebalance SLA’ create commitments that businesses can rely on in the event of cyber incidents or changes to storage requirements, respectively. 

Throughout these announcements, the mantra is clear. Pure Storage is focused on ease in a landscape where the pace of change is near breakneck and where customers are struggling to keep up. 

It’s an approach that Pure Storage’s founder and chief visionary officer John Colgrove (affectionately nicknamed ‘Coz’) also hammers home in conversation with ITPro, emphasizing it as the key theme for this year's event.

“The big things that we want to talk about are the evolution of the simplicity around fusion, around the unified platform,” Colgrove says. “Simplicity, efficiency of management at scale, that was the quantum leap forward this year, and that's why we highlighted that”. 

Sustainability taking the back seat but remaining core

Simplicity is in Pure Storage’s DNA, as IDC research director Lara Greden puts it in conversation with ITPro, adding that therefore “it makes sense for it to keep being put at the forefront”.

It’s a contrast from last year’s conference, with the focus at Pure Storage 2023 having largely been placed on sustainability. with Giancarlo stating boldly that “disks are done” as part of the firm’s push towards flash drive adoption in the enterprise. 

If the firm’s messaging around ‘simplicity’ has been consistent at Pure Accelerate 2024, it’s also a little vague in comparison to its environmental commitment. Ease of use and adoption, while a valid selling point for any enterprise struggling to stay on top of sprawling application complexity, doesn’t quite have the same specificity that sustainability has a defining feature. 

But sustainability is still very much on the table for Pure Storage. “Sustainable AI is important,” Pure Storage’s VP of R&D tells ITPro. “Ultimately nobody wants to be responsible for consuming so much power that ultimately citizens are at risk”.

Conversations with Pure Storage customers also reflect a continuing commitment to sustainability. UK telecom firm BT, for example, was vocal on the sustainability benefits of Pure Storage’s solutions.

As with any company operating in the current climate, it's understandable that Pure Storage had to shift its messaging in line with AI adoption. It’s becoming a necessity for businesses across sectors to offer something in the way of AI, while taking the time to make these solutions relevant to its existing customers.

Pure Storage has done just this, looking at the benefits of its existing platform and building on them in a way that aligns with enterprise AI adoption. With its focus on making adoption and integration easier than ever before and solid storage infrastructure to back up its promises, Pure Storage used Pure Accelerate to make a strong case for customers and partners to keep relying on.

George Fitzmaurice
Staff Writer

George Fitzmaurice is a staff writer at ITPro, ChannelPro, and CloudPro, with a particular interest in AI regulation, data legislation, and market development. After graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in English Language and Literature, he undertook an internship at the New Statesman before starting at ITPro. Outside of the office, George is both an aspiring musician and an avid reader.