You know, I don’t usually hide my opinions and I’ve already wrote my sentiments about SolideFire a couple of times recently (here and here). They have designed a very good product with many interesting characteristics but, up until yesterday there were two different problems from my point of view… which now look like things of the past.
A new smaller model
Solidfire has finally added a smaller model to its products line up, which now counts 3 new models (SF2405, SF4805 and SF9010). You can consider them the small, medium, large capacity models where, in fact, the big difference between them is in the size of the SSDs (respectively 240, 480 and 960GB).
With the new SF2405, the minimum configuration starts now at 200K IOPS and 9.6TB (35TB after dedupe/compression, but mileage could vary… you know) and at a price of around $100K (setting the $/GB around 2.8, and this can improve by adding more nodes). All cluster nodes remain interchangeable (you can start small, but if you need higher capacity nodes you can add them to any cluster) and all features are the same across all models/configurations. I like it when vendors are able to keep things simple! It’s also a sign of good product design… isn’t it?
This is a good advancement from a market positioning perspective. Solidfire can now address many more opportunities and can offer more choices to existing customers. At the same time, having a more affordable lower end model, makes it easier to think about an expanded channel… which is often the best (sometimes the only) way a startup can think about implementing serious operations outside US (especially in Europe).
A new funding round
Solidfire made a second announcement yesterday, which I think is even more interesting when you look at the SF2405. They raised another $82M in a series D funding round (for a total of $150M!).
This money will also help the company to accelerate growth, employ more sales people and, again, expand its channel (which BTW, already counts more than 60 partners and 4 distributors worldwide).
Why it is important
Solidfire has one of the most interesting flash based storage architectures out there. And even if their primary targets remain, by admission of their spokesman, ISPs and large enterprises, now they can be more competitive in relatively smaller environments with a new proposition which is also helpful to build a bigger sales channel… and the extra funding will help to do it faster.