Pure Storage Proactive Support and its Flash Fairy

If PS is an abbreviation for Pure Storage, PSPS should be what they call Pure Storage Proactive Support.

In the past two months, the Pure Storage customer support team has proactively opened three cases on our behalf in an effort to help us reduce risk, improve performance, and get the most out of my employer’s all-flash storage array.

Historically, Pure Support (another PS) actively monitors the array’s log files so that they may quickly react when problems occur. But now, they appear to be proactively seeking for ways to further reduce risk and/or tune the array to improve performance and capacity. I love it!

Recommended Firmware Upgrades

It’s normal for vendors to discover bugs in their firmware. What’s not normal is for vendors to proactively notify their customers of the bug, open a support ticket on their behalf, an offer to remotely fix the bug at the customer’s earliest convenience (at any time on any day).

Apparently, this is the new normal we should expect from Pure Storage support.

In the past two months Pure Storage has notified us that they have “detected a potential problem,” that their “records indicate that your Pure FlashArray is potentially exposed to this problem,” that “a fix for the problems is available,” and that an “upgrade can be performed remotely by our Support staff.”

My employer is a hospital, which is always open and always has Tier 1 workloads running on their Pure Storage SAN. Each time, remote support performed a successful upgrade of the storage controllers without downtime or loss of service.

When I asked for one of the upgrades to be done early on a Sunday morning, they had no hesitation and made a resource available for me. Each time, the support representative communicated directly with me before, during, and after the upgrade.

Pay attention storage vendors — when datacenter engineers dream, this is the type of support they dream of having.

A visit from the Flash Fairy

This week, the Pure Storage Proactive Support team (it’s official, I think this nickname will stick) opened a new case saying that they wanted to help us reclaim some capacity. The email went something like this (I removed some details):

“My name is (Flash Fairy) and I am the owner of Pure Case # (ID) that has been opened on your FlashArray. You currently have some reclaimable space available on the array. We would like to go ahead and make some changes that will give better prioritization to the space reclamation process on your array. These changes will only take a moment to be processed and are non-disruptive in nature.”

What!? Did we just discover a new storage vendor “species”? Could it be that a storage vendor has actually evolved to help its customers consume less storage instead of more? It’s so counter intuitive.

In less than one day, Pure Storage Proactive Support and its magical Flash Fairy has already helped us reclaim 7 percent of our capacity and increased our data reduction from 5.1:1 to 5.6:1. In other words, Pure Storage has reduced our need to buy more storage while increasing our return on investment.

It’s actions like these that explain why their “customer satisfaction ratings (as measured by Satmetrix NetPromoter Score) are at least 30 points higher than those of [their] nearest ‘Big Storage’ competitor.”

Thank you Pure Storage.

PS: I love my storage.

PSPS: Thanks to Pure Storage Proactive Support and its Flash Fairy.