NetApp Buys SolidFire And With It a Solid All-Flash Storage Advantage

In a huge move, NetApp has announced it’s intention to buy Solidfire.  This acquisition bodes well for NetApp.  It indicates an understanding of the market they are transitioning into based on the mistakes they have made.  Having erred in trying to build it themselves they are now purchasing one of the most sophisticated and scalable flash storage array companies available. It has been my favorite company because they have done so many things correctly – from the management of the company to the technology they have built into their all-flash arrays. My hope is that they leverage SolidFire’s strong flash storage platform and not worry too much about cannibalizing their existing products.   SolidFire offers an excellent scale-out architecture that is without doubt ahead of all the other vendors when it comes to providing cloud storage features for cloud storage providers and entesfhigh2rprise cloud deployments.  They have won over a large number of cloud providers.  It is not a surprise – they have built in a number of critical scale-out and storage features which I have previously reviewed.  Solidfire scale-out arrays scale up past 100 nodes to provide a highly available view of storage with quality-of-service controls and all the usual suspects of data reduction built in to the operating system (including replication, dedup, compression, etc).  In my view, focusing only on storage misses an important point – storage lives within larger ecosystems.   Solidfire works on OpenStack, Cloudstack, Citrix and VMware frameworks and offers a solid well-rounded group of storage features with a focus on complete virtualization and  cloud solutions. You can look at the post OpenStack Announcement: Solidfire/Dell/Red Hat Unleash Solidfire Agile Infrastructure (Flash-Storage-Based) Clould Reference Architecture to understand their involvement in cloud solutions. The Solidfire architecture allows from four arrays to 100 to be clustered and provide petabytes of flash storage that are highly available.  Couple this with quality of service and all the standard data reduction features and you end up with a really nice flash storage foundation.  The advantage of their approach allows unlike arrays to be clustered with different types of SSDs.They can also make use of either iSCSI or 8/16Gb Fiber Channel.  It’s worth looking at some of the excellent features of this platform which include seamlessly upgrading storage or seamlessly scaling out. Here are some nice videos that demonstrate some of their advanced features :

Scale and Upgrade Storage Seamlessly

 

Provision, Control and Change Storage Performance

 

SolidFire Cluster Install and Setup in 5 Minutes

 

Quality of Service

 

 

OpenStack Announcement : SolidFire/Dell/Red Hat Unleash SolidFire Agile Infrastructure (Flash Storage-Based) Cloud Reference Architecture

Very, very cool announcement today from SolidFire, Dell and Redhat. Everyone interested in the next generation datacenter should listen to this excellent keynote from a SolidFire’s CEO.  They are way, way ahead of the rest of the flash storage crowd.  Unlike announcements of some vendors whose native operating systems don’t even support extreme scale-out and quality-of-service and that announce their belated participation in the OpenStack foundation minus virtually any substantial meat – SolidFire delivered a strong announcement – a real-world, pre-tested, pre-validated Dell/Redhat/SolidFire reference architecture for building a flash-based cloud. And they are not new to OpenStack they have been supporting it for some time. Today, SolidFire unleashed a pre-validated, pre-tested reference architecture with two key players – Dell and Redhat. In this talk – two eBay engineers – Subbu Allamaraju (Chief Engineer, Cloud) and John Brogan (Cloud Storage Engineering) discussed with Dave Wright (CEO, SolidFire)  the challenges that moved them to look at OpenStack and how eBay is using OpenStack today.  It is definitely worthwhile to listen to these knowledgeable  eBay engineers provide a meaningful discussion on why OpenStack is important.

Then, Dave Wright discusses the newly created OpenStack cloud reference architecture.  You can find the Solidfire Agile Infrastructure (AI) Reference Architecture  here :

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David goes into some of detail on the reference architecture for a scale-out cloud. Two Dell and Redhat execs also joined David on stage to further discuss the new reference architecture.

Recommended Viewing : Flash and OpenStack in the Enterprise – An Accelerating Trend

There is a nice talk about flash storage and OpenStack by Dave Wright, CEO at SolidFire and Roark Hilomen, Distinguished Engineer and Technologist at eBay. In the fairness of full disclosure – I know Roark, a friend and one of eBay’s brightest engineers.  SolidFire and eBay presented at the Samsung Memory Solutions Forum on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at the Computer History Museum to discuss the rising demand of flash storage and OpenStack within the enterprise. The session, “Flash and OpenStack in the Enterprise: An Accelerating Trend” covered the rapid shift that is occurring in how enterprise IT infrastructure is being deployed and managed within the Next Generation Data Center.

See more here.

Also Samsung Memory Forum 2013 presentations  (PDFs):

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gotostorageGo to more posts on storage and flash storage at http://digitalcld.com/cld/category/storage.


Recommended Viewing : OpenStack Summit 2013 Videos Now Available

If you are interested in OpenStack, as I am, you will be happy to learn that openstack500from the recently concluded conference, OpenStack has made available  a wealth of video presentations and keynotes available from OpenStack Summit 2013.  This is an incredible collection of knowledge about OpenStack and people and companies involved with it.

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Also of interest, you should follow what eBay/PayPal is doing if you are interested in an implementation in-progress.  At the recently concluded OpenStack Summit 2013 in Hong Kong eBay/PayPal did six sessions.

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