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SDN Journal: Article

SolidFire Delivers True Storage Agility to the Next Generation Data Center

Element OS Version 6 Provides the Most Complete Range of Enterprise Class Features in Any All-Flash Array

SolidFire has introduced Version 6 of its Element OS, named Carbon, and a new set of enterprise class features into its all-flash array. Building on tremendous success as the benchmark storage architecture for large-scale cloud service providers, SolidFire is rolling out new features that pave the way for enterprises striving to deliver a more agile, automated, and scalable storage infrastructure. New functionality will be generally available in Q2 2014.

The increasing pressures on Enterprise IT
The era of cloud computing has dramatically raised the bar on both the speed and cost at which Enterprise IT services are delivered and consumed. This radical shift in expectations has become a driving force behind the transformation of enterprise data centers worldwide.

"Storage is at the core of the next generation data center," commented Dave Wright, SolidFire Founder and CEO, "And 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."

Bringing storage agility to the Next Generation Data Center
SolidFire recently previewed the features of Element OS 6, and introduced key customers Internap, SunGard and ServInt, before an audience of more than 35 industry analysts and influencers from around the world at the company's first Analyst Day in Boulder, Colorado.

"Solidfire attacks what to me is the most glaring missing element in tomorrow's enterprise data center -- Quality of Service," commented Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst of the Enterprise Strategy Group. "As more and more applications are delivered from shared storage infrastructure -- performance predictability and scale have become paramount. That's been the problem with traditional storage architectures in the modern era of infrastructure virtualization."

With this release, SolidFire is introducing a combination of unique features that smooth the enterprise transition to Next Generation Data Center technologies. These new features include:

Introduction of Fibre Channel Connectivity: Adding to their 10Gb iSCSI connectivity, SolidFire introduces 16Gb active / active Fibre Channel (FC) connectivity to its full line of all-flash arrays -- SF3010, SF6010, and SF9010. This added functionality enables enterprise customers to easily transition current FC workloads and take advantage of SolidFire's guaranteed storage performance, system automation, and scale-out architecture.

Real-Time Replication: SolidFire's Real-Time Replication technology enables the quick and cost-effective creation of additional remote copies of data. Native to the SolidFire design, this functionality delivers essential disaster recovery capabilities to CSP and enterprise customers without the need for third party hardware or software. The SolidFire replication model is extremely flexible, each cluster can be paired with up to four other clusters and replicate data in either direction allowing for easy failover and failback.

Mixed-Node Cluster Support: SolidFire storage systems now support the combination of storage nodes of different capacity, performance, and protocols within a single cluster. Within every SolidFire storage system, capacity and performance are managed as two global and separate resource pools. When new storage nodes are added to a cluster, additional capacity and performance are made immediately available to both existing applications and new workloads. Additionally, Mixed-Node Cluster Support allows enterprise customers to continually leverage the economics of the most current flash technology in the market while providing long term investment protection.

"With mixed node support, SolidFire has eradicated the concept of 'generational' or 'forklift upgrades' common with traditional disk and other all-flash storage systems," discussed Matt Loschert, CTO of managed hosting provider ServInt. "As we scale our storage infrastructure we simply add the most current SolidFire platform without downtime or impact to our hosted customers -- resources are instantly available. Decommissioning systems is as simple as adding them. We can take them off line without compromising availability or any of the Quality of Service (QoS) settings that we have established with our customers."

Integrated Backup & Restore: This unique SolidFire functionality provides native snapshot-based backup and restore functionality compatible with any object store or device that has an S3 or SWIFT compatible API. This first-of-its-kind functionality eliminates the cost and complexity of third party backup & recovery products, while dramatically accelerating backup performance. CSP and Enterprise customers can now effortlessly scale backups for thousands of hosts and applications.

For more information on the SolidFire's all-flash storage systems, including this new release, please see or schedule a live demo today.

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