Pure FlashArray – Quick/Easy Capacity Expansion

By | August 3, 2015

I drove up to Dallas the other day to add a shelf of storage for a customer’s DR array. They were very interested in seeing the physical installation, but they are based in San Antonio and it was difficult for them to break away for a day just to watch the install.

I decided to document the process via camera phone so the customer would be able to see, in a time documented fashion, how easy the physical and logical capacity expansion would be. This was also a training opportunity for a new Pure Storage SE who did most of the actual installation.

Here is the FA-450 with two shelves at 10:05 am:

2015-07-02 10.05.31


We then retrieved and opened up the box containing the new shelf, cables and tools (10:10 am):

2015-07-02 10.10.51

After this my colleague added the two rails for the SSD shelf, done by 10:15 am:

2015-07-02 10.15.32

Next we added power cables and powered it on to set the appropriate shelf ID. We then powered it off before adding the SAS cables. (done by 10:25 am):

2015-07-02 10.25.36

Mmmm, 24TB of new capacity:

2015-07-02 10.19.50

Almost done, I showed my colleague how to cable up and secure the back-end SAS cables (done by 10:31 am):

2015-07-02 10.31.15

After this we called the customer, and told them we were ready to power on the new shelf.

We did so, and within a couple of minutes, allowing time for the shelf to power on and start passing I/O, the customer, who was running over 90% full at their DR site, was running at 44% full.


Screenshot 2015-07-03 18.02.45

All in all, the experience, including unboxing, training a new colleague, and taking time for pictures and to call the customer, took about 25 minutes of physical activity followed by a couple of minutes of logical activity after power on.

All of the new capacity joins the existing capacity in a single pool that requires no special rebalance code or special interaction from support or an SE to enable.

Architecture Matters.

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