Optimize your cloud on your terms, not ours

The need for infrastructure scale within our cloud service provider customers is a major influence on our roadmap. Our recent scale blog provides a view into what we consider to be the defining characteristics of a storage system designed to operate under the constraints of scale. For cloud providers, infrastructure scale and business scale are inextricably linked. To successfully scale their businesses, cloud providers need more flexibility from their storage infrastructure to accommodate the growing needs of a diverse range of applications or tenants.

Traditional storage systems can scale capacity with additional disk shelves, but getting more performance requires changing storage media, forklift controller upgrades, or short-stroking drives and wasting capacity. By comparison, SolidFire’s true scale-out architecture increases performance and capacity linearly and creates a single pool of capacity and performance for all tenants. While our scale-out architecture has always allowed service providers to easily scale performance and capacity, that growth came with a fixed ratio of capacity to performance. Our long term goal is to allow service providers to add precisely the ratio of capacity and performance that they require for maximum efficiency based on the needs of their customers.

Today we are taking the next step on that roadmap by introducing our new high-density storage node – the SF6010. You can see the detailed specs of the new system here. Compared to our existing SF3010 model, the SF6010 is simply a bigger pool of capacity for providers to provision out to their customers. Cloud service providers can now create a dense multi tenant cloud environment backed by up to 2.4 petabytes of capacity and 5 million IOPS — all within a single system.

Assuming an average of 100GB capacity per virtual machine the SF6010 could house 240 virtual machines per rack unit (RU). At 240 VMs per node the SF6010 can deliver 200 sustained random IOPS to each VM, a roughly 20x performance advantage over spinning disk. More importantly, our unique performance virtualization technology allows some of those VMs to use thousands of IOPS while others consume a few dozen, without regard to capacity.

The SF6010 announcement is just the beginning for us. Our architecture is designed to allow us to continually stay out in front of price declines and density increases in storage media; driving down the cost of high performance storage in the cloud, while increasing the flexibility of cloud providers to accommodate the varying performance and capacity needs of a wider set of applications. To get more details on this announcement look for us this week at our booth at the Structure 2012 conference. @jungledave, @dcahill8 and @jprassl will all be at the event.

-Adam Carter, Director of Product Management

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