SolidFire Review

With the footprint being smaller, and performance being way up, we're able to increase IOPS

How has it helped my organization?

We went from huge NetApp arrays to essentially a half a rack with the same amount of space that was required as far as data drives. With the footprint being smaller, and performance being way up, we're able to increase IOPS, which will give us better capability to actually mimic the production network on a government network.

What is most valuable?

  • Power
  • HVAC
  • Density of drives

The square footage for doing development is at a premium when dealing with government networks. To be able to put a lot of IOPS in a lot of high-speed performing drives in a very small location which requires very little HVAC with very little power, it is very valuable to us.

With our Solidfire, we're going to be doing things like DevOps for ease of use. We're going to be able to expand in a condensed environment with a lot of IOPS to create a very small footprint on an all-flash array using a web interface, which makes it easier for some of the lower technicians to use it.

What needs improvement?

I'm seeing what I want to see. They're expanding and doubling the I/O per every 2U on their new 19210, or something like that. I'm looking forward to getting in there and testing it out as well. I'm really liking the performance of the network.

However, it would be good to provide administrative access at the root level to be able to do things with the system, if need be.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It seems pretty stable. At the beginning, they bring their engineer out. They actually set it up for you. That was a really good thing.

However, when we wanted to change how we want to do it and basically start it over, do some hands on training with some of the architects who would be working on it, one of the issues was there wasn't an admin password at the BIOS level to restart it over. We actually had to contact NetApp to come back out, or we had to contact them and get a one-time password. This was painful.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This thing uses a model like Lego blocks to be able to not only mix and match different models, but to be able to expand or scale out based on what the demand is currently. It gives me the opportunity to go from two to three nodes up to as many nodes as I need without having to put out an upfront cost that's way high. Especially when you're talking about development networks, this gives me the opportunity to provide the customer with a solution upfront which is high-performing. Then as the years go by, I can scale it out way further, especially if demand increases.

How is customer service and technical support?

Tech support was fine. The fact that I had to contact tech support just to get administrative at the BIOS level was kind of painful. But other than that, yeah, lovely.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Density is the key here. Getting high-performance drives in a small package was what we were looking for. We still continue using NetApp, just a newer system, and when we want old flash arrays.

What other advice do I have?

Definitely give it an opportunity; put in on a network, then put the different loads on the system and show how they do QoS across those loads to make sure you've got the guaranteed bandwidth.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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