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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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Why didn't SolidFire remain an independent company?

Wright: It was a difficult decision. We could stay on path to an IPO, or go with NetApp.

The opportunity for flash storage is growing faster than we expected. For us, the question was how we can tap into that as quickly as possible. It takes time to ramp up sales and partners. NetApp accelerates that process. It provides a large global reach. We weren't able to reach large global markets in China or India before. But we will this year with NetApp.

Also, it's a challenge for a single-product vendor. Sometimes our solution fits a customer need, and sometimes it doesn't. It's nice to have a portfolio we can talk about, and not push customers away to another company's solutions.

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