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Q&A: NetApp, SolidFire Execs On NetApp's SolidFire Integration, Competition, Flash Storage Future

NetApp's Lee Caswell and SolidFire CEO David Wright discussed NetApp's plans for SolidFire, how SolidFire differs from and complements NetApp's other all-flash storage technologies, and partnering with Cisco and competing with Dell-EMC.

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For NetApp's acquisition of SolidFire, who approached whom?

Wright: I'm not kissing and telling.

We've been talking to NetApp over the course of a couple of years. We've been building a relationship over several years. I had the opportunity to meet with [NetApp CEO] George Kurian (pictured) before the acquisition. NetApp knows us, and we know them. We weren't actively shopping the company. We were in the process of looking at a new investment round. That made this a good opportunity to talk about an acquisition.

Caswell: Customers like the fact that we're keeping the SolidFire product, and that Dave is continuing to run it independently and continuing to develop it. It's a good sign that we are committed to making these incremental opportunities grow.

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