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Pure Storage acquires Portworx for container management

Pure Storage container support includes the Pure Service Orchestrator. Portworx will operate as a new Pure Cloud Native business unit focused on storage for cloud apps.

To solidify support for hybrid clouds, all-flash vendor Pure Storage on Wednesday acquired container storage startup Portworx for approximately $370 million. The merger is expected to close by the end of September.

The move dovetails with Pure's effort to position its all-flash storage systems as a platform for developing modern applications in the cloud, surrounded by persistent storage and data management. On-demand software licenses account for one-third of Pure's overall revenue. All Portworx founders are set to join Pure Storage in undisclosed executive roles. Pure said Portworx will operate intact as a separate division to develop DevOps storage for containerized apps. Heading the new Pure Storage Cloud Native business unit is Portworx CEO Murli Thirumale.

"It's an acquisition that makes sense for both companies: It's an extension of Pure's already aggressive expansion into cloud, the companies are culturally very similar, and Pure will give Portworx a global sales and support footprint that Portworx couldn't have achieved on its own," said Steve McDowell, an analyst for storage and data center technologies at Moor Insights & Strategy.

McDowell said the acquisition will have an immediate payoff for Pure.

What distinguished Portworx for us is the broad set of blue-chip customers they have across a broad range of environments.
Matt KixmoellerVice president of strategy, Pure Storage

"There is almost no overlap between Pure's product offerings and those of Portworx. This means that there's a limited amount of integration that has to happen on the engineering front," McDowell said.

Portworx launched its first products in 2017 and is one of the few container startups to survive the culling process that occurred with the maturation of Kubernetes. The Portworx flagship is the Kubernetes Data Services Platform, which consists of six software modules to manage and provision storage for application containers. Portworx allows customers to run any Kubernetes distribution with their preferred storage across cloud and physical targets.

Mat KixmoellerMat Kixmoeller

"What distinguished Portworx for us is the broad set of blue-chip customers they have across a broad range of environments, from cloud to SaaS to traditional enterprises," said Matt Kixmoeller, vice president of strategy at Pure.

Portworx says it serves organizations on the Forbes Global 2,000 list, including Carrefour, Comcast, GE Digital, Kroger, Lufthansa and T-Mobile. The company reported in August its highest-ever quarter for sales and total revenue, although the private company does not disclose specific sales figures.

Pure Storage container support already includes the Pure Service Orchestrator software layer that federates fleets of FlashArray block and FlashBlade NAS all-flash arrays as a consumed service. The addition of Portworx PX suite provides comprehensive data services to move data between cloud and on-premises data centers, according to Pure.

Though the two platforms will be combined, they'll be hardware-agnostic, Kixmoeller said.

Portworx is the largest acquisition in Pure's history. It is the third company Pure Storage has bought in as many years. Pure Storage picked up file system vendor Compuverde in 2019 and cloud deduplication startup StorReduce in 2018.

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