During today’s analyst event in Boulder, Colorado, the home of SolidFire, there was some big news dropped on the storage industry.
SolidFire has announced a plan they are calling “FlashForward”. The “FlashForward” program is essentially a capacity based licensing model for the SolidFire software, designed to separate out the capital spend on hardware and software. SolidFire has grown up in the service provider space and as such has seen unique trends in the industry. Gone are the days of licensing being tied to hardware. Gone are the days of rigid pricing models that don’t fit the on-demand nature of today’s businesses. The whole idea here is to offer supreme flexibility in a dynamic allocation pricing model.
To quote Dave Wright, SolidFire Founder, VP & GM: “The days of ridiculous storage hardware prices combined with software licenses forever bound to a specific piece of hardware are over. Customers want a fundamentally more flexible and fair way to procure storage in the next generation data center. FlashForward delivers our customers a more agile, cost-effective and future-proofed approach to buying storage relative to the unnecessary burdens imposed by legacy storage purchasing models.”
The key components of the FlashForward program that help contribute to this substantial cost savings include:
● Fully Perpetual & Transferrable Licensing – no need to rebuy software when upgrading or replacing hardware
● Granular Capacity Licensing – greater alignment of software license purchases with actual usage
● Provisioned Capacity-Based Pricing – eliminates the cost uncertainty stemming from unpredictable data reduction rates and the reliance on high data reduction workloads to make All Flash Storage cost effective by selling software licenses based on provisioned capacity
● Pooled Capacity Model – Software licenses are enterprise-wide, eliminating stranded capacity and allowing for seamless repurposing of hardware to new sites as business needs dictate
● Built-In Economies of Scale – built-in capacity-tier discounts ensure pricing goes down as deployed capacity goes up
This is really going to be game changing for the segment of storage buyers that are creating dynamic storage environments and want to break away from the traditional model of storage purchasing.
New Product Announcements
Today SolidFire is announcing an all new storage node as well: the SF19210 Node
Here are some of the juicy specs of this new beast of a storage node: Twice the performance and capacity in the SF Series – and lowest cost per GB/IOPS. Up to 40-80TB effective capacity, 100,000 predictable IOPS and sub-millisecond latency.
This new node is going to be well suited for those huge database application needing massive IOPs and throughput.
SolidFire is also announcing version 9 of Element OS – Code Named Fluorine
● Integration with VVols – By integrating SolidFire’s Quality of Service (QoS) with VMware VVols, customers can achieve the most granular control over storage performance on a per-virtual machine (VM) basis. This functionality allows them to set min, max and burst IOPS levels, ensuring exact amounts of capacity and guaranteed performance for even the most performance-sensitive VMs. Both capacity and performance can be changed on-the-fly without migrating data or impacting performance.
● Increased Fibre Channel (FC) scalability – Element OS 9 doubles the number of FC node connectivity in a SolidFire cluster to four, allowing users to scale out to 40 storage nodes. Fluorine also increases the limit of IOPS per FC node from 300,000 to 500,000 IOPS, resulting in 2,000,000 IOPS per a four-FC node cluster — over three times better aggregate performance.
● Expanded VLAN features – New features within Fluorine allow for tagging default networks and supporting more flexibility in multi-tenant networks by enabling customers to use overlapping IP addresses on VLANs via separate routing tables, preserving limited IP address resources.
● New user interface (UI) – Re-built from the ground up, the new UI consolidates the storage system data into a single dashboard, saving customers time and resources.
SolidFire’s Field CTO Val Bercovici has this to say about the OS: “Element OS 9 (Fluorine) is a demonstration of our commitment to continuously improving and building an innovative, solid and flexible all-flash array for a broad range of use cases. By simply upgrading to Fluorine, customers gain access to a new set of features that help them transition to a service delivery infrastructure,” “Our unique software-based approach to storage allows customers to enable the next-generation data center in every data center and achieve what’s never been possible before.”