All-flash storage provider SolidFire has introduced new features to target enterprise storage customers. The company introduced Version 6 of its Element OS, named Carbon, which includes a new set of enterprise-class features.
The new features include native real-time replication, integrated backup and restore, simultaneous Fibre Channel and iSCSI, and mixed cluster support all increase appeal to enterprises, as well as add promising functionality for cloud service providers.
“The datacenter is changing with software defined everything, and cloud orchestration,” said Jay Prassl, VP of Marketing at SolidFire. “That change has been felt early on in the service provider space, but reaching more and more into the enterprise space. This is purpose-built for the enterprise.”
Looking Beyond Cloud Providers
The company began with a focus on cloud service providers but now is targeting the next-generation data center, which it describes as a tectonic shift in the expectation of IT service, delivery and consumption.
“Storage is at the core of the next generation data center,” said Dave Wright, SolidFire Founder and CEO. “Neither traditional disk systems nor today’s basic all-flash arrays are supporting this transformation in resource allocation and management. Our customers expect great performance from us, but they also expect us to support their broader business objectives to deliver internal storage services that are more agile, scalable, automated, and predictable than ever before.”
The new features are:
Native Real-Time Replication: The real-time replication is ideal for disaster recovery purposes. It enables quick and cost-effective creation of additional remote copies of data. Native to the SolidFire design, it delvers essential disaster recovery capabilities without the need for third part hardware or software. Each cluster can be paired with up to four other clusters and data can be replicated in either direction allowing for easy failover and failback.
Integrated Backup and Restore: Native snapshot-based backup and restore compatible with any object store or devise that has an S3 or SWIFT compatible API. This functionality eliminates the cost and complexity of third-party backup and recovery products, and accelerates backup performance. CSP and enterprise customers can effortlessly scale backups for thousands of hosts and applications.
Fibre Channel & iSCSI simultaneously: Adding to their 10Gb iSCSI connectivity, the company is introducing 16Gb active/active Fibre Channel connectivity to the full line of flash arrays. This allows enterprise customers to easily transition current FC workloads and take advantage of SolidFire’s guaranteed storage performance, system automation and scale-out architecture
Agile scaling to any size or speed with mixed clusters: SolidFire systems now support the combination of storage nodes of different capacity, performance and protocols within a single cluster. This means that as CSPs and enterprises scale out their storage infrastructure, the can simply add the most current SolidFire platform instantly. It gives the ability to decommission or add systems simply, regardless of their “generation”.
While a lot of competitors have jumped into providing Flash storage, SolidFire argues that just Flash isn’t enough. The company provides control and performance management for better predictability in addition to the all-flash solution.
The company has been doing very well with cloud service providers (CSPs) both big and small, including COLT, ViaWest, Internap, ServInt, SunGard, and more. What's not as well known is that the company has also been selling effectively to Internet scale enterprises looking to set up internal clouds. The new features are focused on both providing CSPs with more functionality as well as addressing some key enterprise needs.