Flash storage pioneer Pure Storage has announced it is set to buy Kubernetes container storage specialist Portworx for $370m in an acquisition that aims to close by the end of September.
The size of the deal – the largest in Pure’s history – reflects the growing importance of Kubernetes containers as a way of running applications and the need for persistent storage to support them.
Pure’s strategy vice-president, Matt Kixmoeller, said the acquisition would enable the company to bring to bear its existing global marketing channels, adding there would be integration between the Pure and Portworx portfolios but that the container storage specialist would be developed in its own right.
“We will beef up global marketing for Portworx using Pure’s global channels and subscription offerings. We will make sure Pure and Portworx work together, but the emphasis will be that Portworx is an independent business,” he said.
Kixmoeller highlighted the number of big ticket customers the two companies had shared, which include GE Digital, Comcast, T-Mobile and Kroger. He said the deal “brought the two companies together to go after opportunities at the next level”, adding that Portworx was “the most-deployed containers storage platform in large enterprises”.
Portworx is one of a number of companies that has arisen to provide persistent storage for container deployments. As originally conceived, Docker storage was created and died with the container. But, as containers entered the mainstream as a means of deploying enterprise applications, the need arose to retain data associated with container applications beyond the lifecycle of one – often among very, very many – container.
Portworx was one of the wave of companies that served that need, with storage described from Kubernetes daemon sets and providing persistent volumes (PVs) as native block storage.
But why does it make sense for Pure to spend more money than anything it ever has before on this purchase?
“It continues the evolution of Pure,” said Kixmoeller. “We started helping people transition from disk to flash 10 years ago and helped redefine what on-premise storage was all about, and that has evolved now towards the cloud too.
“Buying Portworx is an extension of storage to run in cloud-native apps, whether on-prem or in the cloud; a complete storage platform.”
Kixmoeller said the first task would be to “double down on investment in Portworx, accelerate the roadmap and to integrate the company with Pure”.
Having said that, he was also at pains to point out that Portworx as a platform is agnostic to the type of underlying storage it uses.
The Pure strategy vice-president said Portworx would be integrated with the existing Pure Kubernetes orchestration engine “over time”.