SolidFire for the NetApp guy


Be you NetApp customer, partner or employee there is a wealth of information on our website to assist with getting to grips with SolidFire, whenever you are Ready To Start.

Here I have pulled together links & content I think are really useful. More to come from us when the deal closes but I hope this is useful during the meantime.

I’ve added personal commentary along the way and tried to use resources, concepts, demos that I have used when explaining our technology to people, during the past ~3 years.

SolidFire Value

Firstly, two different views on what SolidFire can do for you.

For enterprises embarking on transformation of infrastructure, I like Jermiah Dooleys slides here from the recent Tech Target events. They give a taste of our what our architecture can do for a customer:

For Service Providers, Stuart Oliver has been an awesome resource. He put in a lot of air miles in 2015 and assisted many with making sure their Service Provider business models will be successful. See him in full-flow here:

The Five Elements – Element OS

We often anchor tech-deep dives and discussions around the five key elements of SolidFire.  There is a lot more here and we also have own YouTube Channel here

The fives elements are listed below and then I’ve pulled together a resource I think useful for each that I’ve used:

Scale-Out : During POCs and Demos often I will start with a workload on a SolidFire system, maxing it out. Then I go through the process of adding extra nodes in, or removing nodes and scaling back.

Guaranteed Performance : Derek Leslie first gave me this demo back at CloudExpo Europe in 2013. This was 3 months before I joined SolidFire. An awesome product manager and great source of information while I’ve been at SolidFire. This is one of the standard demos that SolidFire SEs often give :

Automated Management : Automating all parts of the SolidFire storage provisioning process is a key pillar of Element OS. The UI lets you see the requests and responses you can make to achieve this automation. The value of automation really comes when integrated with VMware, CloudStack or OpenStack. More on these later but one of our latest additions is Puppet and read Ed Balduf’s post here on our Developer Community

Data Assurance : This for me goes wider than simply how we protect data on disk and the benchmark architecture for QOS covers more on data – also security and protection were enhanced in Element OS 8 and more is available here on this blog – &

Global Efficiency : Who likes storage that is less efficient ? Our efficiencies are global and always on. Read more here:

How we blend these elements together is what has made us top of the Gartner Critical Capabilities study for Solid State, twice in a row:

The Architectural Comparison

This stands out as a great way of understanding at a deep level how SolidFire works and compares to a couple of well-known All-Flash storage competitors. It is always a pleasure to see Dave Wright speak and whiteboard and while made in 2014 this is still awesome: 

I did ask Dave naively once, “So how do we do QOS on SolidFire ?” – and the answer is  we do it through everything in our architecture – this is called our “QOS Benchmark.” It is the compound benefit of each of these architectural design decisions coming together so we can offer guaranteed performance:


OpenStack: This demo here I originally saw delivered at 1am GMT, by John Griffith remotely. Since had chance to spend time with John who is a cool guy and a real champion for OpenStack and how Open Source & community should be done. I have gone on to learn this one and more about OpenStack since but recorded here for people to see.

CloudStack: Rumours of its death are greatly exaggerated. CloudStack has a smaller but more focussed community and working with guys like ShapeBlue & CloudStack Collab has been really good fun. I have written about it on my blog here and am looking forward to getting my lab updated to 4.7 shortly to see the new features. Here Mike Tukowski gives a demo of just one part of our CloudStack integration:

VMware: Had the pleasure of hanging out with Josh Atwell at the UK VMUG late in 2015. See Josh talk here about automating all the things in VMware. We bring a lot more to the party than this but one of the key trends I see is people wanting to remove the manual steps they need to go through in their DCs with VMware:

Customer Use Cases

FICO: FICO have taken and used OpenStack to drive their business forward. This includes commodity storage to deliver a big part of their needs. SolidFire allows them to offer guarantees to their customers for their time-sensitive, critical operations where commodity storage cannot. :  It also reminds me of Sea Planes, great times in Vancouver and how architectures can evolve!

Calligo : Julian at Calligo is the first SolidFire customer. Calligo were my first customer as an SE when I joined SolidFire. See here back in 2014 how he talks about SolidFire. Calligo are still a customer today and as their business grows, SolidFire has grown with them.

Colt : My first customer POC was Colt. Winning against 22 competitors was huge. And working with the team at Colt on the POC gave me tons of great experience. Colt have changed their business models since but it reminds me how we got SolidFire International rolling in 2013 :

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