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