SSD Storage Vendor SolidFire Aims At Cloud With $25 Million Funding Round

SolidFire is developing scale-out clustered SSD storage which allows cloud service providers to use SSD technology to overcome the performance issues caused by multiple customers storing data on the same storage infrastructures.

The SolidFire architecture consists of SSD-based storage nodes, each of which includes 3 TBs of raw capacity or about 12 TBs of effective capacity. Service providers start out with a minimum of three nodes clustered using 10-Gbit Ethernet.

At the minimum configuration, the architecture provides 50,000 IOPS, but it can be scaled to 100 nodes with up to 1 petabyte of capacity to host over 100,000 tenant volumes and over 5 million IOPS.

SolidFire's goal is provide cloud service providers the technology to increase performance of storage in the cloud, said Jay Prassl, vice president of marketing at the Boulder, Colo.-based vendor.

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While the cloud has become an ever more common target for backup and archive data, the cloud's use in primary storage has been limited.

"Service providers have a significant pain point when it comes to storage performance in the cloud," Prassl said. "And they have significant pain when it comes to scaling storage in the cloud."

SolidFire, which exited stealth mode this year, is not yet shipping production units of its SSD-based arrays, Prassl said. "We're still in our early access program," he said. "We've deployed about 500 TBs with early access customers, including the largest cloud services providers in the world."

With the new $25 million round, total investment in the company now stands at $37 million, Prassl said. The company has no strategic investors, but a big part of its funding so far has come from a couple of well-known names in the storage industry including Frank Slootman, former Data Domain CEO, and Greg Papadopoulos, former Sun Microsystems vice president and CTO.

The company plans to use the funding to accelerate the bringing of its product to market, as well as increasing its engineering capabilities, Prassl said. "It makes stomping on the gas a little easier knowing you have a full tank of fuel," he said.