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SolidFire in Boulder, Colorado offers flash array storage.https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/HT/ME/AG54RPSLLJ2L.jpegSolidfire is a fast, solid, multi-purpose block array - great at what it is, but know what it isn'tSolidFire is the primary, tier 2 storage for the organization, used behind vSphere. The company is leveraging VVOLs and Storage Policy Based Management in vSphere on Solidfire to address complexity and management points within the array. It was used to replace aging EMC VNX arrays and consolidate from 6 down to a single array, reducing the management points and independent pools of storage into a single unified pool of all-flash storage. The efficiencies of the array were attractive in making the all-flash costs more affordable in a cost per GB comparison with other arrays. The shift to Solidfire also allowed for the shift from expensive fiber channel infrastructure towards iSCSI and faster Ethernet infrastructure, further eliminating management points.,All-flash performance is very good, particularly on read-intensive workloads Performance scales linearly by adding new nodes Guaranteed QOS policies offer both a minimum IOPS and maximum IOPS with burst capabability, so its not just capping the upper limit of a workload Encryption at rest is integrated into the array platform Grid architecture ensures that ability to perform rolling upgrades online without severely impairing performance VVOL capabilities with the array allow granular control and visibility of the workloads,Block-only storage platform Latency is higher than expected on write-intensive workloads (making it less effective for log applications and video) UI and marketing inconsistencies make it hard to know how close you are to your maximum performance - all IOPS in UI are reported in actual IOPS whereas the ratings and marketing all use 4K IOPS - users must manually equate actual Average IO size and IOPS to the 4K representation Solidfire's excellent support is being merged with NetApp's support and seems to be harder to navigate and receive the traditional high-quality support ActiveIQ portal is good for longer term views of the array, but it is sub-par compared to competitors like HPE's Infosight VVOL visibility in the UI is constrained - you can dig into details on a single volume but you are unable to compare performance of multiple volumes,8,Largely allowed us to install and not have to manage the array (set it and forget it) - the array calls home and reports into Active IQ and Solidfire auto-generates cases based on events and is proactive in handling issues. Use of VVOL with the array has reduced the number of management points, but has introduced a new possibility of problems due to the VASA provider and vCenter dependency for VVOLs - it is something to be aware of if you choose to use VVOLs versus VMFS with vSphere. Use of VMFS and traditional LUNs bring less benefits, so there is a trade-off. The first major software upgrade hit a bug specific to our vSphere configuration which causes a major outage. The advertised behavior is a non-disruptive upgrade process and maintenance process. Maintenance has been nondisruptive during a hardware failure (node replacement) and during a drive replacement. Software updates to the array are guided by Solidfire and largely white-glove, handled by their support.,HP 3PAR StoreServ Flash Storage, Dell EMC Unity, Tegile, IBM XIV, NetApp EF-Series All Flash Arrays and NetApp FAS series,vSphere with Operations Management (VSOM), NAKIVO Backup & Replication, EMC VNX, Windows Server,Yes,Price Product Features Product Usability Existing Relationship with the Vendor,From a performance evaluation, I would simulate more varied workloads to compare the arrays. Using a standard 80 Read/20 Write split did not highlight deficiency in write intensive workloads, so expanded benchmarking would be one change. In terms of other selection process, we might add a couple additional items to the scorecard that we have found to be important - such as specific UI elements to ensure we get accurate alerts and viewpoints within the workloads.,No,8,No,One of the Solidfire nodes failed with a DIMM error. Support contacted us about the issue and knew about it before we were aware. The array and performance was not impacted, our workloads were still running perfectly so we had no indication of problem. After a reboot over the out of band management, the technician dispatched a node. The node arrived at our datacenter, and a technician assisted in replacing the node - just add the management IP's and a couple steps it was back in the cluster and rebuilding.
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SolidFire
4 Ratings
Score 7.6 out of 101
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SolidFire Reviews

SolidFire
4 Ratings
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Score 7.6 out of 101
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Philip Sellers profile photo
February 23, 2018

Review: "Solidfire is a fast, solid, multi-purpose block array - great at what it is, but know what it isn't"

Score 8 out of 10
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SolidFire is the primary, tier 2 storage for the organization, used behind vSphere. The company is leveraging VVOLs and Storage Policy Based Management in vSphere on Solidfire to address complexity and management points within the array. It was used to replace aging EMC VNX arrays and consolidate from 6 down to a single array, reducing the management points and independent pools of storage into a single unified pool of all-flash storage. The efficiencies of the array were attractive in making the all-flash costs more affordable in a cost per GB comparison with other arrays. The shift to Solidfire also allowed for the shift from expensive fiber channel infrastructure towards iSCSI and faster Ethernet infrastructure, further eliminating management points.
  • All-flash performance is very good, particularly on read-intensive workloads
  • Performance scales linearly by adding new nodes
  • Guaranteed QOS policies offer both a minimum IOPS and maximum IOPS with burst capabability, so its not just capping the upper limit of a workload
  • Encryption at rest is integrated into the array platform
  • Grid architecture ensures that ability to perform rolling upgrades online without severely impairing performance
  • VVOL capabilities with the array allow granular control and visibility of the workloads
  • Block-only storage platform
  • Latency is higher than expected on write-intensive workloads (making it less effective for log applications and video)
  • UI and marketing inconsistencies make it hard to know how close you are to your maximum performance - all IOPS in UI are reported in actual IOPS whereas the ratings and marketing all use 4K IOPS - users must manually equate actual Average IO size and IOPS to the 4K representation
  • Solidfire's excellent support is being merged with NetApp's support and seems to be harder to navigate and receive the traditional high-quality support
  • ActiveIQ portal is good for longer term views of the array, but it is sub-par compared to competitors like HPE's Infosight
  • VVOL visibility in the UI is constrained - you can dig into details on a single volume but you are unable to compare performance of multiple volumes
Solidfire is a good, multi-purpose array for iSCSI environments. Grid architecture allows incremental, linear expansion of the array both in capacity and performance. The all-flash is a very high performance, low latency platform for a lot of applications. The way the company has architected the platform allows for continual upgrades and removes the lift-and-load replacements if you stay with Solidfire in the future.

The Solidfire fiber channel implementation is workable, but largely there is a checkbox. I cannot imagine any fiber channel shop is going to look at a Solidfire seriously, unless they are looking to move towards Ethernet based transport. Write intensive workloads struggle on the array. The double-helix data protection combined with the architecture can make writes more latent than expected - well into the teens and 20's of ms within the array.
Read Philip Sellers's full review

About SolidFire

SolidFire in Boulder, Colorado offers flash array storage.

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