SolidFire Other Solutions Considered

associat541638
Associate Director, IT at a pharma/biotech company with 501-1,000 employees
We did an extensive evaluation of several products and vendors, looking at SF, Kaminario, Nimble, Pure Storage, EMC, and HPE. Price was a factor, but it was not the only factor. We are not a huge shop, but are growing, so we wanted something that had a solid architecture for now and for later. We wanted it to be as bulletproof as possible, and yet be able to change/grow with us. The more standard, dual-controller-with-1-shelf can survive with a controller failure, or 1+ drive failures, but what about a shelf failure? While this is unlikely, it is still a possibility. With SF, a few minutes after a drive failure, the data (blocks) that were located on that drive are re-duplicated elsewhere. In a very short time (a few minutes), you are fully-protected again. And as long as you have sufficient spare capacity - you can lose an entire node with no data-loss and reportedly only a small performance hit (even software upgrades are non-disruptive, as they are done 1 node at a time). That entire node's data is re-duplicated elsewhere on the remaining nodes. If you don't have a node's worth of spare capacity, that becomes more problematic, of course. What this also means is, as you add nodes, for increases in both capacity and performance, a.k.a. the scale-out model, you also get faster recovery times in case an entire node fails. Adding nodes is a simple as: * Adding a node to the cluster * Adding the drives. Data is re-balanced across the new nodes automatically. Removing/Decommissioning a node is just as easy: * Remove the drives from the cluster * Allow data to be re-located * Remove the node from the cluster There is another unique option. Let's say I grow to 10 nodes, but the LOB application changes, and the role is no longer the same. I can break that into 2 x 5-node arrays and redeploy in different roles. _______ update: since doing the initial review, we have added two additional nodes. Very easy to do, the data re-balancing (distribution) is done automatically. View full review »
Find out what your peers are saying about NetApp, Pure Storage, Dell EMC and others in All-Flash Storage Arrays. Updated: November 2019.
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