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Pure Storage Brings Cloud Block Store To Microsoft’s Azure VMware Solution

Microsoft Azure VMware Solution (AVS) is a Azure cloud offering designed to ease the pain of cloud migration. AVS provides a familiar infrastructure stack, integrating compute, memory, network, and vSAN storage. By preserving application architecture and adopting a consumption-based pricing model, Microsoft AVS stands out for its ability to ensure smooth workload migration while minimizing business disruptions.

Crucially, AVS empowers businesses to harness cloud-native services in the future without requiring complex application refactoring, especially for VMware workloads. This orchestration is underpinned by operational consistency across existing and new applications, creating a balance between legacy systems and innovative approaches.

Pure Storage this week announced that it’s bringing its Pure Cloud Block Store offering to Microsoft AVS. The offering is in public preview now.

Background: Pure Storage Cloud Block Store (CBS)

Cloud storage doesn’t look like traditional enterprise storage. The CSPs provide a comprehensive set of building blocks that allow you to build nearly any storage solution, but it’s still very much a “build it yourself” approach. This leads to cost and complexity. Pure Storage addresses these challenges with its Pure Cloud Block Store (CBS) solution, which offers a scalable storage solution for cloud deployments without a corresponding scale-out of compute resources.

CBS brings Pure’s Purity Operating System, the same software that runs its on-prem storage arrays, to the cloud. This allows cloud users to reap the same benefits found in traditional on-prem SANs in their cloud environment. Pure Storage’s Cloud Block Store is available today on Microsoft Azure and Amazon’s AWS.

A critical element of Pure’s Cloud Block Storage is its approach to data reduction. CBS uses the same thin-provisioning, compression, and deduplication technologies present in Pure’s on-prem offerings to reduce the amount of data stored on flash in the cloud. This is a huge benefit in a cloud environment where users are charged by the byte to store and transfer data. Pure Storage’s compression technology reduces cloud costs, including helping organizations reduce often-expensive ingress and egress fees.

Beyond the data reduction efficiencies, Pure CBS for Azure delivers the features typically associated with an enterprise block storage solution. This includes thin provisioning, instantaneous snapshots and clones, always-on data-at-rest encryption, snapshot scheduling, continuous replication, active/active replication, QoS, Pure’s SafeMode technology, and offload to Azure blob storage.

News: Introducing Pure Cloud Block Store for Microsoft AVS

Pure Storage is bringing CBS to Microsoft AVS, allowing users to provision storage as needed to fully use an Azure AVS deployment without having to scale out compute resources. Microsoft and Pure Storage collaborated to bring the solution to market, making some changes to Pure’s existing CBS for Azure offering along the way.

Pure’s existing CBS for Azure uses Azure’s “Ultra Disk Storage” instances. Ultra Disk Storage instances are Azure’s top-tier block storage offering, designed to provide storage for I/O intensive workloads (such as SAP HANA). It’s high-performance but also the highest-priced block storage offering on the platform.

Pure and Microsoft worked together to allow CBS to utilize a lower-cost storage tier, Azure’s Premium SSD v2 storage type. On paper, this should deliver half the performance of the Ultra Disk Storage tier, but Pure has managed to enable the lower-cost option without sacrificing the performance. Pure claims that the new solution improves cost-efficiency by 200%-300%. Making it more compelling are enhancements to the underlying compute instances that result in up to a 30% improvement in throughput and IOPs.


Pure Storage’s Cloud Block Store is a compelling solution for nearly any cloud migration effort. Its new offering for AVS makes cloud migration even easier for IT administrators, who can now use VMware’s suite of migration tools to move workloads to AVS. Pure Storage arrays already allow replication to CBS, so Pure’s on-prem customers can easily migrate their data.

The ability to right-size storage, leverage familiar migration tools, and tap into robust data protection features makes the journey to Azure VMware Solution more streamlined than ever before. Pure’s comprehensive approach, along with its data reduction capabilities, accelerates the migration’s ROI, bringing enterprise storage capabilities to the public cloud. That’s a compelling story as organizations increasingly embrace the cloud. 

Disclosure: The author is an industry analyst, and NAND Research an industry analyst firm, that engages in, or has engaged in, research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, which may include those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.