Pure Storage is a leading enterprise data storage company globally, making it an excellent option for those interested in jobs revolving around innovative data storage, management, and protection solutions. Owing to the company’s standing, you have to prepare adequately for its interview, which can be rigorous. To make your work easier during the preparation phase, we have compiled a list of some of the most common questions in Pure Storage interviews. Let’s get started!
1. What Can You Tell Us About This Company?
Pure Storage is a renowned data storage and management company that offers all-flash enterprise storage solutions. It was founded in 2009 by John Hayes and John Colgrove and is headquartered in Mountain View, California. The company developed its proprietary flash storage hardware in 2015, 6 years after its incorporation. It has also made several acquisitions over the years, such as StorReduce, a software company it purchased in 2014 for a whopping $25 million, and Portworx in September 2020 at a reported price of $370 million.
2. Why Do You Want To Work Here?
Working at Pure Storage has been a career-long dream. I have had the chance to interact with a few of your employees at different times in my career, and all I can say is that I am in awe of this establishment. I believe that working here will allow me to put my skills, experience, and abilities to better use and advance in my career. I will also help several businesses optimize their data storage for improved efficiency and performance.
3. What Do You Understand By Nvme?
NVMe fully refers to Non-Volatile Memory Express. This protocol supports access to high-speed storage devices over Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCle) interfaces. It is an Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) upgrade, the latter being a protocol that offers access to slower hard disk drives. NVMe supports high-performance applications such as machine learning, big data analytics, and real-time transaction processing thanks to its lower latency provision, more efficient I/O processing, and higher bandwidth.
4. Can You Mention Some Of The Benefits Of All-Flash Storage
Thanks to its all-flash data storage hardware and software products, Pure Storage has become a formidable competitor in the enterprise storage industry. Some of the benefits associated with all-flash storage include the following:
- High throughput,
- High performance
- Low latency
- Fast data access
- Lower power consumption
- Simpler management
- Smaller footprint
- Lower total ownership cost
- Better return on investment
All-flash storage also supports heavy applications such as big data analytics, real-time transaction processing, and machine learning.
5. Differentiate Between Hybrid And All-Flash Storage
Hybrid storage is also another common storage type. Unlike all-flash storage, which uses only solid-state drives (SSD) to store data, hybrid storage uses both SSDs and hard disk drives (HDDs) for data storage, resulting in a tiered storage architecture. It, therefore, balances between performance and capacity by storing frequently accessed data on solid-state drives and less frequently accessed data on hard disk drives. On the other hand, all-flash storage solely focuses on performance, which explains why it is preferred for applications that require faster data access. Hybrid storage also has a lower cost per GB, making it cost-effective. It’s, however, more complex to manage than all-flash storage and may face performance variability due to the incorporated hard disk drives.
6. What Do You Understand By Pure Storage Data Reduction Technology?
Pure Storage has a data reduction technology that compresses and deduplicates data written to the storage system with the help of algorithms. Compressing data reduces its size and removes repeated or redundant patterns. On the other hand, deduplication eliminates duplicate data blocks across several data sets. Thanks to this technology, customers can reduce their storage footprint, increase their storage capacity and bring down overall costs. It can work with all all-flash storage systems, given that it can run throughout without impacting performance.
7. Define Flashblade
FlashBalde is a storage solution for modern data-intensive applications. This next-generation, all-flash storage solution offers high throughput, fast performance, and low latency, making it a go-to option for artificial intelligence workloads and machine learning. It allows customers to consolidate several workloads into one platform thanks to its custom-design architecture that relies on object storage and scale-out file and supports fast flash-based performance. It requires no tuning or configuration and can be easily managed. It saves customers from worrying about their storage infrastructure and shifting their focus to their applications.
8. What Is Flasharray?
Pure Storage offers FlashArray, a flagship all-flash storage solution that supports critical applications requiring high simplicity, performance, and reliability levels. Thanks to its modular architecture, it allows customers to scale out easily without disrupting their applications. Users also get advanced data services such as data reduction, encryption, replication, and snapshots. This solution is managed by Purity Operating Environment, owned by Pure Storage, with a simple, intuitive user interface for managing storage system aspects.
9. Define Pure1
Pure Storage customers can access Pure1, the company’s cloud management and support platform. Its centralized Pure Storage deployments view lets them easily monitor their systems’ capacity, performance, and health in real-time. The platform also allows support engineers to manage issues thanks to its predictive analytics and proactive support capabilities. It can be accessed by Pure Storage customers free of charge from any device with a web browser.
10. Walk Us Through How Pure Storage Ensures Data Availability And Protection
Pure Storage is committed to ensuring customer data integrity and availability. It offers several data protection and availability features, such as:
- Snapshot- Thanks to this feature, customers can back up and recover their data by taking instant copies and uploading them to the cloud. It is also space-efficient and has no impact on performance.
- RAID Protection- Pure Storage ensures data protection against drive failures in all its systems by using RAID protection. However, the level of protection depends on customer requirements and the storage system.
- Active/Active Cluster- Customers can create active clusters across two geographically separate sites thanks to this feature, leading to better availability and disaster recovery capabilities.
- Replication- Pure Storage’s replication feature allows customers to copy their data to other Pure Storage Systems to aid in faster recovery. This process can occur asynchronously without any impact on performance.
11. Define Pure1 Meta
Pure Storage uses Pure1 Meta to offer data insights across its deployments. This global intelligence platform analyzes telemetry data from multiple Pure Storage arrays through machine learning algorithms and can therefore offer usage patterns, capacity, and performance insights. It also allows Pure Storage to proactively optimize its storage solutions through predictive and offer better customer support thanks to its predictive analytics capabilities.
12. Do You Know How Pure Storage Integrates With Public Cloud Providers
Pure Storage can easily integrate with public cloud providers such as Google Cloud, AWS, and Azure, thanks to CloudSnap and Pure Cloud Block Store options. Such integrations allow customers to enjoy a seamless and consistent data management experience by extending their physical/ on-premise storage to the cloud. With CloudSnap, customers can take data snapshots and replicate them to the cloud to help with backup and recovery. At the same time, Pure Cloud Balock Store offers an efficient block storage service that can integrate with Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud.
13. What Do You Understand By The Pure Storage Evergreen Storage Program?
The Pure Storage Evergreen Storage program allows customers to update their storage systems without incurring high costs or significantly interrupting their applications. This unique storage ownership model features an upgrade path to the latest specs and technologies, ensuring that systems are updated with the latest capabilities and features. Customers get predictable and flat support and maintenance costs for efficient budgeting of storage costs.
14. What Do You Know About Pure Store’s Airi Platform?
Pure Store has an AI-Ready Infrastructure platform to speed up machine learning and AI workloads. This joint solution between the company and NVIDIA uses Pure Storage’s FlashBlade all-flash storage and NVIDIA’s DGX-2 and DGX-1 artificial intelligence systems, giving customers a fully integrated and pre-validated machine learning and artificial intelligence infrastructure. It also works with several popular artificial intelligence frameworks, such as PyTorch and TensorFlow, allowing customers to enjoy scalable, high-performance, and easily deployable machine learning and artificial intelligence workloads.
15. Define Pure Storage Object engine
Pure Storage’s ObjectEngine feature offers backup and recovery services for modern data-intensive applications. This product’s scale-out architecture allows scalable high-speed data backup and restoration by combining object storage capacity and flash-based performance. It offers fast, secure, and resilient data backup functions and features such as compression and deduplication for data efficiency. It integrates with leading backup software solutions such as Commvault and Veeam and can be deployed in several environments.
16. How Does Pure Storage Ensure Simplicity? Mention Its Self-Managing Features
Pure Storage ensures simplicity in the following ways:
- It uses a simple and intuitive user interface
- It has automated and self-managing features
- Its systems are easy to configure, deploy and manage
- Its user interface offers a unified view of all the storage resources, which promotes easier monitoring and management of the storage environment.
- It requires minimal manual intervention to operate.
Regarding the second part of the question, Pure Storage offers three main self-managing features, namely:
- Predictive Analytics- Predictive analytics identify and proactively address potential issues before they blow up.
- Self-driving- Pure Storage systems can automatically optimize capacity, data protection, and performance depending on workload requirements.
- Evergreen Storage- The platform has an Evergreen storage program that allows non-disruptive maintenance and upgrades, ensuring consistent upgrades and support.
17. Why Is Pure Storage Lauded For Its Perfomance?
Pure Storage has several features guaranteeing high-performance levels, such as:
- QoS- Customers and Pure Storage users can allocate and prioritize resources based on application requirements using the QoS feature.
- All-flash Storage_ All-flash storage offers high-performance levels for write and reads operations.
- Non-volatile RAM- Pure Storage has a FlashArray//X system that uses non-volatile RAM. The RAM acts as a write buffer, allowing customers to enjoy better write operations performance due to low latency.
- NVMe- Pure Storage supports NVMe, which has a higher bandwidth and low latency for better performance.
18. How Does Pure Storage Achieve Scalability?
Pure Storage approaches scalability in the following ways:
- Its systems are fully compatible with the Evergreen Storage program, allowing customers to upgrade their systems without major disruptions.
- Its FlashBlade systems allow customers to increase capacity and performance by adding more blades thanks to its scale-out architecture.
- Its FlashArray system allows customers to increase the number of controllers and shelves for better performance and increased capacity since it uses a scale-up architecture.
It’s, therefore, safe to say that Pure Storage achieves scalability through its modular architecture that allows independent performance and capacity scaling.
19. What Are Some Of The Techniques Used By Pure Storage To Ensure High Availability?
Pure Storage ensures high availability through the following means:
- Automatic failover- Customers can failover to another controller if the primary one fails, thanks to the automatic failover feature.
- N+1 Hardware Redundancy- This feature ensures that storage systems remain available if a key hardware component fails.
- Minimized or Non-Interruptive Upgrades- Pure Storage lets customers upgrade their storage systems without affecting availability thanks to its non-disruptive upgrades support.
- Active/Active Controllers- Pure storage has active/active controllers that distribute IO traffic across the two controllers for high availability.
20. How Does Pure Storage Enforce Security And Compliance?
Pure Storage has several security and compliance features that promote data availability, confidentiality, and integrity. They include:
- Compliance certifications- Pure Storage holds HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI DSS certifications.
- Encryption- This platform supports industry-standard AES-256 encryption, which supports at-rest and in-transit encryption. This feature does not impact performance and is usually on.
- Multi-factor authentication- Multi-factor authentication demands that users provide extra authentication, e.g., a biometric factor or token for storage system access.
- Role-based access control- This platform supports role-based access, where access policies are defined and enforced based on user permissions and roles.
21. Walk Us Through How Pure Storage Supports Multi-Cloud And Hybrid Environments
Pure Storage supports hybrid and multi-cloud environments through the following tools:
- Pure Cloud Block Store- This tool offers a storage service that fully integrates with public cloud providers.
- Cloud Data Services- Pure Storage supports cloud-based data management services such as disaster recovery, file and object storage, recovery, and backup. Such services fully integrate with public cloud providers.
- CloudSnap- PureStorage has a CloudSnap feature that allows customers to take data snapshots and replicate them to public cloud providers such as Google Cloud for backup and recovery.
- Kubernetes Integration: Pure Storage’s Kubernetes integration allows customers to easily manage and deploy containerized applications across multi-cloud and hybrid environments.
22. Is It Possible To Integrate Pure Storage With Third-Party Backup Solutions?
Yes. One can integrate Pure Storage with third-party backup solutions via application programming interfaces and plug-ins. Some popular backup options supported by the platform include Veritas, Veeam, and Commvault. Once they integrate with them, customers can quickly recover and back up their data for a seamless process.
23. How Does Pure Storage Achieve Multi-Tenancy?
Pure Storage’s well-designed multi-tenancy model allows secure and independent storage for numerous departments, users, and applications. This feature is normally achieved through the following means:
- Data Isolation- Data isolation allows logical data separation between several tenants.
- Data auditing- This feature allows customers to monitor their usage patterns and track whoever is accessing their data. They can share their storage resources across several departments and with different users while heeding compliance and security requirements.
- Access control policies- Pure Storage has access control policies that guarantee tenants access to their resources only.
24. How Do You Normally Keep Updated With Data Storage Trends And Technology?
I must keep up with the latest data storage trends and technologies to thrive in this industry. I normally read tech articles, journals, and blogs, which I find highly educative during my free time. I also attend tech conferences and seminars, interacting with like-minded individuals and bringing each other to speed on recent developments and trends. Additionally, I have subscribed to several newsletters which immediately update me of any changes or development in the data storage industry. I can, therefore, confidently confirm that I rarely lag when it comes to updates.
25. What’s Your Preferred Working Style? Independent Or Collaborative?
I can’t lean to either side because although I am used to collaborating with other professionals on different projects, I don’t mind working independently. I have had several independent roles, which I successfully did. I know how to take the initiative, work to the best of my ability, and maintain high focus and determination until I finish the job. I am also usually ready to own my mistakes without looking for excuses. Regarding teamwork, I am prepared to use my communication, conflict resolution, active listening, leadership, and critical thinking skills for the successful execution of projects.
We hope the above questions will help you acquaint yourself with Pure Storage’s technologies, services, and products. Ensure that you clearly and confidently showcase your expertise and knowledge to the hiring manager or potential employer to increase your chances of landing the job. Enterprise data storage is a fast-evolving industry, so staying updated on relevant trends and developments is also important. We wish you all the best in your upcoming interview.