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SolidFire’s Solid State Cloud Storage Comes Out

SolidFire reckons it’s creating new business opportunities for cloud service providers

SolidFire, which is positioned as having the only solid-state (SSD) storage designed exclusively for cloud service providers, has gone GA with its cost-effective high-performance SF3010 and SF6010 systems as new customers ViaWest, Databarracks, Calligo and CloudSigma roll out services with guaranteed performance and firm SLAs.

SolidFire storage systems combine up to one hundred SF3010 or SF6010 nodes over a 10GB Ethernet network, making the system capable of delivering over 2PB of capacity and five million IOPS. Both products run SolidFire's Element OS 4.0, and can deliver an effective storage capacity below $4/GB and a price/performance ratio below $1/IOP.

The products are sold direct.

The company says the widgetry will enable SPs to bring tier-one enterprise applications like Oracle, SAP, Hadoop and NoSQL into the cloud for the first time.

CEO Dave Wright says the ability to host a broader range of customers' compute workload is "at the heart of cloud provider differentiation, profitability and long-term success."

With its scale-out performance and patent-pending Quality of Service (QoS) controls, the company says cloud service providers can now set and maintain consistent performance to thousands of applications in a shared infrastructure.

SolidFire reckons it's creating new business opportunities for cloud service providers. It sees hosting business-critical and performance-sensitive applications as a massive opportunity for cloud providers. With SolidFire, they can profitably deliver guaranteed performance services below the cost of traditional high-performance disks and back that performance with firm SLAs.

Currently about 20 cloud service providers worldwide are evaluating SolidFire.

ViaWest, one of the largest privately held data centers in the US, whose customers include Lufthansa, Red Robin, Patron Tequila, Northrop Grumman, Akamai, Chipotle and Symantec, figures SolidFire will let it move beyond its "current data center offerings and provide a whole new set of business products predicated on performance guarantees and industry-leading SLAs."

Databarracks technical director Oliver Mather said, "SolidFire has the potential to fundamentally change the way customers leverage the cloud. Today we support the backup of over 10PB of data for thousands of customers in the UK and globally. Yet the cloud is evolving far beyond backup, and with SolidFire we can now extend services to our customers and support their most sensitive and business-critical applications. We are evolving our infrastructure and services in line with our customer's demands of the cloud. In most cases, with SolidFire we are able to provide better performance at a lower cost than customers can get with their on-premise infrastructure."

CloudSigma CTO Robert Jenkins said, "Rather than just throwing SSDs in an array, which anyone could do, the SolidFire technology allows us to bring down the price of SSD to compete with mainstream HDD. We are saying goodbye to magnetic storage all together. CloudSigma customers will now be able to get much higher virtual machine performance at the same price as before. It is like putting a way more powerful engine in your car and not having to pay for it. SolidFire is our default storage medium and we expect this to have significant impact on our growth rate and existing customer base going forward."

The start-up, which has raised $37 million and has 75 employees, spun out of Rackspace, which has yet to sign up for the widgetry.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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