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Pure Storage CEO Emphasizes Power Efficiency Amid Rising AI Data Storage Demand

June 1, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Tune into the latest Pure Storage earnings call, and you'll hear CEO Charles Giancarlo (pictured, top of page) emphasizing the storage company's sustainable technology strategy -- and its alignment with customers' growing AI (artificial intelligence) data storage needs.

The upshot: As partners and customers seek storage solutions to scale with data-hungry AI applications, Pure Storage ($PSTG) already offers solutions that blend scalability; power and footprint efficiency; and e-waste reduction, company officials said.

Pure Storage: Power Efficiency Perspectives

Much of sustainability strategy involves DirectFlash and Evergreen//One (formerly known as Pure-as-a-Service). The latest offerings include Pure Storage's E product line. "The E line is the first and only all-flash storage system that can address the secondary storage market, at competitive prices to 7,200 RPM hard disk systems, but with only 1/10 the power, space, cooling and labor requirements," Giancarlo said during Pure Storage's earnings call on May 31, 2023.

Listen further, and the Pure Storage executive team mentions power- and space-efficiency themes at least a dozen times during the earnings call.

Among Giancarlo's assertions: "Compared to our all-flash competitors, we are 10x more reliable. We are 2X to 5X more power and space efficient, and we require 5x to 10x less manual labor to operate, resulting overall in at least 50% lower total cost of ownership."

Robert Lee, CTO, Pure Storage

Reducing e-waste also was a topic of discussion on the call. For instance, the FlashBlade//E "consumes approximately 1/10 as much power and space as similar capacity hard disk systems that it replaces, requiring up to 1/10 the labor and generates less than 1/10 the e-waste," Giancarlo stated.

Pure Storage Chief Technology Officer Robert Lee also weighed in on those sustainability themes during the earnings call. The company, Lee said, is winning business because of "our solo ability to deliver the balance of performance, cost efficiency as well as power space and cooling savings. And that traces its roots directly back to the direct flash technology."

Side note: Sustainable Tech Partner has not independently confirmed Pure Storage's product performance claims.

Sustainability Research: CIO and Data Center Market Demands

Pure Storage's focus on sustainability is well-timed. Among the proof points: By 2025, 50% of CIOs will have specific performance metrics tied to energy consumption, according to Gartner. And by 2027, fully 75% of organizations will have implemented a data center infrastructure sustainability program, up from less than 5% in 2022, Gartner predicted.

Pure Storage's own research reflects those trends. If you consider the top investments that IT buyers expect to make over the next five years, 51% of those buyers point to sustainable technology as a big priority, according to a Pure Storage survey of 500 IT buyers at companies with at least 500 employees across the United States and Europe.

Amid those hot-button issues, competition remains fierce in the storage market -- where key rivals include Dell EMC, HP Enterprise Storage, IBM Storage, NetApp and many others. Moreover, economic headwinds are also emerging in some areas. Among the anecdotes to note: Pure Storage's revenue was $589.3 million in Q1 of fiscal 2024, down 5% from Q1 of fiscal 2023.

Some of the overall revenue decline involves Pure's shift from one-time sales to a subscription business model and associated recurring revenues -- which continues to accelerate. The evidence: Pure's subscription services revenue was $280.3 million in Q1 of fiscal 2024, up 28% from the corresponding quarter last year, the company said.

Putting the overall financial picture in context, Giancarlo said: "We were pleased with our Q1 performance in what continues overall to be a challenging IT environment. Highlights for the quarter include the highest all-time sales for Evergreen//One, and our first sales of FlashBlade//E, which is experiencing the fastest first quarter pipeline growth for any new pure product."

Poke around Wall Street, and Pure Storage's financial results for Q1 of fiscal 2024 generally beat analyst expectations, SeekingAlpha reported.

Pure Storage Customer and Partner Conference

So what's next? Keep an eye on the Pure//Accelerate 2023 conference, which is scheduled for June 14-16 in Las Vegas. An associated Global Partner Forum also is on tap. Scan the conference agenda, and you'll notice how the company plans to reinforce the storage, subscription and sustainability themes.

Among the topics to be discuss: Demystifying sustainability reports from IT vendors. Stay tuned.

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