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FlashArray: the next 3rd/generation of FlashArray //X R3 - NVMe DFMs now for X10. A useful Matrix.

[ NOTE: machine translation with the help of DeepL translator without additional proofreading and spell checking ]

The Pure Storage Sales Kick-Off (SKO) was an enrichment not only for FlashBlade with the announcement of Purity //FB 3.0 (for more information > FlashBlade: Purity 3.0 //FB 3.0 is out! - great feature enhancements for Pures File-Object Storage).

There is also "big news" for FlashArray. The new generation FlashArray is available - FlashArray //X R3. R3 calls great hardware enhancements. I would like to finally share these with you in this post:

Flexible capacity configurations

Pure Storage FlashArray systems are known not to scale by individual volumes/disks/DFMs. In the past, this was problematic in one or the other customer situation due to the static nature of the DataPack scaling when sizing, as there was a certain inflexibility due to the bundles/DataPacks extension. This had to be honestly cited as a handicap at this point. This topic belongs now however finally to the past *CHECK - THUMBS UP *.

With R3, a new DFM DataPack with a capacity of 11TB was released, this now replaces the previous 22TB DataPack as the smallest. In addition, the "Efficiency Bundles" launched in September 2019 also received growth: here there are now 109TB, 145TB, 219TB and 292TB Packs consisting of 12 or 16 DFMs each. Efficiency DataPacks can still be completed by "conversion kits" of now not only 6 drives, but also 4 or 8 DFMs when scaled to demand.

Other innovations:

  • FlashArray X10/Entry systems can now be populated with DirectFlash modules.

  • FlashArray X20 systems now support NVMe DirectFlash shelves in addition to SAS 6G/12G shelves. Mixed configurations are still possible, but I don't recommend them (mostly these come from generation upgrades or similar). Also, X20R3 (R3 only) now supports the 63TB Efficiency Bundle with 14 DFMs.

  • The maximum RAW capacity from X70R2 to X70R3 has almost doubled to 622TB.

It is still possible (at least for now) to buy SAS SSDs in FlashArray systems.


IMPORTANT: the latest matrix can be found here.


The new efficiency bundles are also already supported in FlashArray R2 systems. The storage capacity innovations listed above and their compatibility can be seen in the matrix created below - innovations are highlighted in red here:

IMPORTANT: some of the new features are only supported with Purity //FA 5.3.5 and require it.

SkyLake goes Cascade Lake

With new processors from the Intel "Cascade Lake" family, you can expect a 25% performance increase with FlashArray //X R3 controllers, among others, compared to the previous generation.

With Pure Storage Evergreen Gold you get the latest controller every 3 years at no extra cost. The controller replacement is done without business impact (no downtime, no performance impact).

Before the official R3 release, the new FlashArray generation was tested with various performance tests. The results and the performance comparisons are impressive - including applications that previously ran on direct-attached storage:

  • Up to 50% faster compared to FlashArray R2 for SAP HANA OLAP workloads and NSE.

  • Up to 50% more transactions p. sec. (tps) at 35% lower latency with MySQL compared to MySQL on direct-attached storage

  • Up to 20% more tps at 12% lower latency with PostGreSQL compared to PostGreSQL on DAS


FlashArray //X R3 offers the best prerequisites for providing Pure Storage customers with the hardware of the next generation. Further performance growth through further software optimizations and the full potential of R3 can be expected with Purity 6.

More info - Links

All officially published setting options in the GUI but also CLI can be read via the "on-board" user guides of the Pure Storage systems.

Click on "Help" in the Purity main menu.

The User Guide is structured like the main menu and can be opened downwards. A search function is also integrated - within here you can also search for keywords.

WEB: Pure Storage (Pure1) support portal - Ticket system and support *(requires registered FlashSystems)

PHONE: Pure Storage phone support: GER - (+49) (0)800 7239467; INTERNATIONAL - (+1) 650 7294088

WEB: Pure Storage community

WEB: Pure Storage OFFICIAL blog

The blog lives from your questions, wishes and suggestions...every comment is welcome. I am very grateful for feedback.

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