SolidFire - acquired by NetApp
SolidFire is a next-generation storage platform for cloud
computing providers and other enterprises that need scalable, reliable storage
for thousands of servers. The company's solution allows customers to take
advantage of the performance of solid state storage at a price comparable to
traditional spinning disk, while significantly reducing operational and storage
management costs. For more information, go to www.solidfire.com.
- editor mentions on StorageSearch.com,
- editor's comments:- September 2015 -
SolidFire - which
entered the SSD market in
which has never appeared in the
Top SSD Companies
searched by readers of StorageSearch.com)
(iSCSI and FC) which the company says are optimized for
deployments with system software which is scalable to multiple
which can be cost
effective at this scale compared to HDD arrays.
This is a market
specialized products and customer specific value propositions with
implementations in the same market space including both SDS (with
various types of SSD
software enhanced servers)
as well as some traditionally recognizable storage systems.
the perceived growth potential of the cloud infratsructure amrket and the
willingness of its tech savvy customers to make big investments in roll-out
experiments - this is the sharp edge of the market which will be at the
market consolidation changes.
A key value which SolidFire believes
that its software management and monitoring experience and architecture
facilitates is quality of the virtualized performance.
of a Next Generation Data Center Series: Guaranteed Performance - describes
this QoS promise in this way - "every volume ever provisioned must be
assigned a minimum, maximum, and burst IOPS value, and those values must be
respected no matter what is happening on any other volume, at any capacity
level, with any I/O pattern, forever."
In February 2011
SolidFire raised $11
million in financing which followed an earlier seed round of $1 million.
details of its first product - an
iSCSI SSD appliance
designed for cloud storage
applications which the company says can scale to 1 petabyte capacity (which
takes 100 nodes with current models).
In October 2011 -
$25 million in its 2nd funding round, bringing its total funding to $37
An article in
discussed the company - and includes this quote - "A single SolidFire
cluster can scale from 3 to 100 nodes. Clearly a single node is not enough to
run a resilient system, hence the recommendation for a minimum of 3 as the
In July 2013 -
it has raised $31 million in series C funding which includes a new investor
- Samsung Ventures.
December 2015 -
Appliance agreed to acquire SolidFire for $870
|SolidFire to be acquired by
|Editor:- December 21, 2015 - Network Appliance
has agreed to acquire SolidFire for $870
million in cash according to an
today - which also said that "with SolidFire, NetApp will now have
all-flash offerings that address each of the 3 largest AFA
Editor's comments:- I had been expecting at
least one SSD company to be
December as this has become something of a tradition in recent years.
NetApp was ranked 43 in the
Q3 2014 edition of
the Top SSD Companies List. If it didn't do
acquisitions it wouldn't have any meaningful future in storage.
|SolidFire needs more space
|Editor:- August 11, 2015 - SolidFire today
plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to sustain its "rapid growth"
and eventually accommodate over 400 (projected) Colorado-based employees.|
currently employs approximately 250 employees based in its Boulder
headquarters and an additional 150 employees located in regional offices around
|SolidFire opens sales
channel in Japan|
|Editor:- March 19, 2015 - SolidFire today
it has expanded its sales reach into Japan with the opening of a new office
in Tokyo and a distribution agreement with
|SolidFire gets another
$82 million funding|
|Editor:- October 7, 2014 - SolidFire today
it has closed an $82 million Series D round of funding, bringing its total
funding to $150 million. |
New investor Greenspring Associates led the
round along with a major sovereign wealth fund, with participation from current
investors NEA, Novak Biddle, Samsung Ventures and Valhalla Partners. SolidFire
will use the additional funds to extend its global reach.
building blocks of SolidFire's SSD systems are 1U
iSCSI rackmount SSDs
which include 10x 2.5"
SSDs. At that level it's the same as 100 or so other competing systems.
If you want fibre
channel access - you add a special 1U adapter rack to the native IP array.
So it's expensive - but keeps the unit costs of the most common building blocks
down - compared to including native unified storage in each rack. So in the case
of a big installation - it's a reasonable cost optimization tradeoff.
key difference is
software architecture and the fact they use a
architecture type of RAID
- which they call "no-RAID".
In SolidFire's no-RAID (which
is really big RAID) - the data is more widely dispersed across the drive
population than in classical (small architecture) RAID.
is much less disruption to data access and
performance when a drive
because SolidFire's software can manage upto about 100 racks as a raw storage
resource (1,000 SSD drives) - so the impact of a single drive down is small.
Users also have a high degree of flexibility as to how they micro manage
different virtualized segments of storage to meet their different QoS goals.
|SolidFire - as an
anti-jitter service in the cloud |
|Editor:- August 19, 2013 - SolidFire provides
the underlying rackmount
SSD support for a new SSD
empowered cloud product
Platform as a Service
(PaaS) being offered by
Solutions Now which I learned about in a
Ghaswalla on Software
Editor's comments:- cloud companies - like
the stars in the sky - are nearly numberless - however if you want to see a
partial list of who they are - SolidFire's
news page is cluttered with the names of cloud companies - and reads
almost like a set of audited customer accounts than a technology news
forum - which can be off-putting - if like me - you're looking for
SSD content -
rather than SSD
But although I couldn't find any mention of this
particular story on my brief visit to their website this time around - I was
reminded about an interesting observation which SolidFire had
about earlier (in February 2013) regarding the performance and QoS
impacts that "Noisy Neighbors" can create in a shared storage
Their leading theme is cloud service providers - but
this issue is also critical to almost any realistic deployments in an
enterprise context - and is the implicit reason that many architects have
preferred to isolate critical apps servers in the past - even within their own
datacenters - rather than risk mixing them all up in pools.
a cartoon (they call it an "infographic") -
Noisy Neighbors in the Cloud (pdf) -
SolidFire captures the essence of this performance randomizing problem - whose
solution (you guessed it) is to use more (of their) SSDs.
and SSDs, can you
trust SSD performance benchmarks?,