SolidFire Aims Flash Storage at the Enterprise

Mike Vizard

As an early provider of Flash storage products aimed primarily at cloud service providers, SolidFire has until now largely ignored the enterprise.

But with an additional $31 million in funding, Jay Prassl, vice president of marketing for SolidFire, says the provider of high-end Flash storage systems will soon be rolling out products that are optimized for enterprise IT organizations building large private clouds.

However, SolidFire, which also unveiled a 3.4PB Flash storage system capable of delivering 7.5 million IOPs, expects to see in the era of Big Data the need for internal IT organizations to build massive clouds that have significant performance requirements.

As a spin-out of Rackspace, SolidFire has been delivering high-performance Flash storage products that the average IT organization would consider pricey. Prassl says that SolidFire doesn’t intend to compete in the emerging mainstream Flash storage market. But the company does see an opportunity to compete in the high end of the private cloud market where quality-of-service tied to a service level agreement (SLA) is a critical requirement.

The degree to which Flash storage will be adopted across the enterprise is still a matter of debate. It’s pretty clear that developers, in the name of application performance, are increasingly trying to force the issue. But many storage administrators are taking a more evolutionary approach, given concerns about the relative cost per gigabyte of Flash storage compared to traditional magnetic storage.

Whatever the outcome, there is likely to be a fair amount of segmentation within the Flash storage market itself, which in time may get even more complicated as additional types of non-volatile memory technologies become more viable in the enterprise.

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