SolidFire Targets Cloud Services Providers With All Solid-State Storage Solutions2:45 PM EST Wed. Nov. 14, 2012
SolidFire, a startup developer of all-solid-state storage solutions, this week unveiled its first solid-state storage-based nodes targeting cloud services providers.
SolidFire, which came out of stealth mode late last year, is the first company to provide the storage performance via all-solid-state storage systems that give cloud services providers the ability to offer clear service-level agreements (SLAs) to customers, said Jay Prassl, vice president of marketing for the Boulder, Colo.-based vendor.
"Cloud providers can't yet offer clean SLAs for storage performance," Prassl said. "But with SolidFire, now they can. This lets cloud providers bring in new opportunities they couldn't before."
The capacity of the SolidFire storage nodes can be carved up into multiple tiers of storage, each of which can be configured for performance or capacity, Prassl said. "Cloud services providers can offer different tiers, and charge for the IOPS [I/Os per second], and offer guaranteed SLAs in writing around an app's performance," he said.
The new SolidFire storage nodes are targeting cloud services providers offering such high-performance applications as Oracle, SAP, Hadoop big data and NoSQL databases, he said.
SolidFire this week released two models of its storage nodes. The SF3010 features 10 300-GB SSDs for a total effective capacity of 12 TB. It also has a 72-GB read cache. The SF6010 includes 10 600-GB SSDs for capacity of 21.6 TB and has a 144-GB read cache.
Both models also feature an 8-GB write cache, two six-core processors, two 10-Gbit Ethernet ports and redundant power supplies. Deployments for both models start with a minimum of five nodes.
Up to 100 nodes can be configured in a cluster, with both performance and capacity increasing as nodes are added. SolidFire provides for up to 5 million IOPS and over 2 petabytes of effective capacity.
However, Prassl said, the cost of the solid-state storage offered by SolidFire is comparable to that of spinning disk, with redundant usable capacity costs of under $4 per GB and a price-performance ratio of under $1 per IOP.
NEXT: SolidFire's Customer, Channel Plans
For now, SolidFire -- whose Founder and CEO David Wright spent time at Rackspace after his previous company, cloud storage developer Jungle Disk, was acquired by Rackspace -- is focused on the cloud services provider market and has no specific programs targeting the enterprise storage market, SolidFire's Prassl said.
"But a lot of enterprises are building clouds that look like a Rackspace or Amazon," he said. "So we won't turn enterprises away."
For now, SolidFire uses a direct sales model, but is considering adding a channel program, Prassl said. "But based on the cloud services provider model we focus on, and on their purchasing model, we focus on direct sales," he said.
SolidFire has already signed up four cloud services providers including Denver-based ViaWest. ViaWest in a statement said that SolidFire's use of SSD technology and its efficient storage architecture, enables rapid provisioning of scalable storage that gives users the ability to increase or decrease performance on an on-demand basis.
PUBLISHED NOV. 14, 2012