SolidFire fires a solid one over the all flash array storage bow

At DellWorld 2015, I interviewed SolidFire's Worldwide Channel Director, Mark Conley, who discussed SolidFire's enterprise all flash array and a special announcement.
Written by Ken Hess, Contributor

In this five-minute video interview with SolidFire at DellWorld 2015, you'll get a better understanding of what all flash arrays can do for your enterprise. My few minutes with Worldwide Channel Director Mark Conley covered the DellWorld announcement for its resellers and customers, which is basically a set of instructions, scripts, and information to allow them to build more robust systems. It is really an architecture guidebook for those who need to build better systems around storage.

SolidFire's flash arrays were designed originally for the service provider industry, but now have spread to enterprises because the company services customers' applications and need to tune them and optimize them. In fact, SolidFire's solution allows customers to tune performance for minimum, maximum, and burst capacities.

SolidFire's storage nodes allow enterprises to scale-out capacity as needed. As your company's needs grow, you can add nodes onto your current systems without purchasing a whole new solution.

Who is a great fit for SolidFire's all flash array solutions? If you run a company whose capacity needs are less than SolidFire's lowest capacity system of 35 TB, then it's probably not a good fit for you. SolidFire's customer base is composed of medium and large businesses or small ones that have huge data requirements. In general, though, its customer profile breaks down to three primary sectors:

  • Service Providers
  • Large Enterprises
  • OpenStack Customers

But storage is storage and either you need it or you're going to need it. There's not much debate about that. However, storage is only part of the picture at SolidFire. As Mark Conley suggests in the interview, SolidFire offers solutions in Agile Infrastructure, Cloud Orchestration, Data Protection and the usual virtualization suspects.

So if you're reading along or listening and you don't quite understand what's meant by agile infrastructure, cloud orchestration, and data protection, allow me to enlighten you.

Unfortunately, IT has filled itself with buzzwords to the point where I'm not even sure if we know what we're talking about anymore. And if you hate buzzwords as much as I do, this is going to be a treat for you:

Agile Infrastructure - This one is hard to describe. Agile infrastructure, I believe, is more of a concept than an actual thing, but in its most general sense, it is an attempt to simplify a compute "package." This package is composed of storage, networking, and compute (CPU and memory) into a neat (converged) logical, and sometimes physical, wrapper. It promises simplified, centralized management, modular components for purchase-as-you-grow scenarios, and simple, bolt-on scalability.

Cloud Orchestration - Orchestration refers to, you guessed it, orchestras where a bunch of disparate stuff all comes together to make something wonderful happen. That wonderful thing is automation. So Cloud Orchestration promises to automate certain parts cloud computing, usually through a web-based portal, also known irritatingly as "a single pane of glass." For example, deploying a new application can be done through this web portal with a few clicks, while on the backend, the provisioning of storage, compute, and network are done as if by magic.

Data Protection - Now this is something we can all get our heads around without any psychedelic posters, black lights, or mind-altering marketing fluff. Disaster recovery (DR), business continuity, backup and restore--these are things I can visualize without the aid of Visio diagrams or Excel spreadsheets. My favorite aspect of data protection is that it's stuff that you don't ever really want to use, but you have to have it. It's like insurance with very high premiums and very high deductibles.

Thanks to videographer Joseph Butler of Short Film Guys for producing this and all my DellWorld 2015 videos and audio broadcasts.

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