Pure to Purchase Portworx for Prowess in Cloud Native Storage

16 Sep 2020 2:15pm, by

Storage software and services provider Pure Storage is in the process of purchasing Portworx, a five-year-old company built from the ground up to be a cloud native storage software provider. Pure will pay approximately $370 million for the Kubernetes-focused Portworx.

The Portworx team will be joining Pure as a new business unit dedicated to enabling customers to run cloud native data services. Pure will continue to sell the Portworx platform, as a stand-alone entity, introducing it to its own global sales channels. Pure will provide additional investment to run Portworx products on additional storage infrastructures and cloud services.

The Portworx portfolio provides tools to run data services in any cloud using any Kubernetes platform and offers a full range of enterprise storage capabilities including built-in high availability, data protection, data security. The Portworx software will work with Pure hardware arrays such as FlashArray, FlashBlade, as well as with Pure as-a-Service and other cloud-based services. It will also be integrated into the Pure Service Orchestrator software, which allows organizations to offer container-storage-as-a-service.

Catch up on Cloud Native

The purchase is also a good one for Pure, which has lagged behind in adopting its storage technologies to the cloud native world. In 2020, 95% of new applications are now developed in containers, according to 451 Research. And Gartner estimates that 85% of global businesses will be running containers in production by 2025. Running operations across multiple clouds (“multicloud”) is becoming a pressing issue with the enterprise as well, with 81% of enterprises now using two or more cloud providers, according to Gartner’s math.

TNS analyst Lawrence Hecht has noted Pure Storage’s challenges in addressing the emerging cloud native market.

In a blog post, Portworx co-founder and Chief Architect Vinod Jayaraman wrote that containers would stress systems built for virtual machines in three ways:

  • Traditional storage systems are admin-driven, whereas containers are automation and application-driven. The storage system itself must be application-aware in order to provide optimal provisioning, scheduling, and operations such as application-consistent snapshots.
  • Containers are highly dynamic — they are spun up and torn down rapidly and are not tied to any host — this cannot be supported by existing storage protocols that were built for relatively static environments.
  • Containers enable at least a 10x higher application density which requires storage operations such as snapshots to be supported at a completely different scale.

About five years ago, “developers started realizing that machines are not the center of the universe, but instead that their applications are the most important thing. They need to think application-focused, not machine focused. And ironically, containers allowed them to break out of this mindset. This defined a shift from a machine-centric control plane to an application-focused control plane,” wrote Murli Thirumale, Portworx CEO, in another blog post. On completion of the acquisition, Thirumale will become Pure Storage’s vice president and general manager of the company’s cloud native business unit.

Portworx’s subscription-based storage platform software is used by companies such as Audi, Comcast, ESRI, GE Digital, Kroger, Lufthansa, Royal Bank of Canada, and T-Mobile. GigaOm named the technology as a leader for Kubernetes data storage.

Portworx is a sponsor of The New Stack.