SolidFire Overview

SolidFire is the #19 ranked solution in our list of best All-Flash Storage Arrays. It is most often compared to VMware vSAN: SolidFire vs VMware vSAN

What is SolidFire?

SolidFire delivers all five core elements needed to deliver newfound storage agility to your next generation data center and beyond. With SolidFire you can deploy new applications and capabilities faster, provide more agile and scalable infrastructure, increase application performance and predictability, enable automation and end-user self-service and raise operational efficiency and reduce cost.

SolidFire Buyer's Guide

Download the SolidFire Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: April 2021

SolidFire Customers
California Public Utilities Commission, RFA, 1&1, Ultimate Software , Endicia, ezVerify, MercadoLibre, Sungard Availability Services, ServInt, Elastx, Hosted Network, Colt, Crucial, iWeb, Datapipe, Databarracks
SolidFire Video

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SL
CEO and founder at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
You can have more tenants and more application with less space and less dollar per gigabyte

Pros and Cons

  • "The quality of service for minimum iOS, to maximum iOS in a multi-terminal environment is very powerful. The SQL service feature is the best part of SolidFire."
  • "I think there is room for improvement needed with its storage capability. A bigger node is needed."
Associate Director, IT at a pharma/biotech company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Some of the valuable features are compression, deduplication, and thin provisioning.

What is our primary use case?

Primarily this is used as the backend iscsi SAN for our oracle 12c RAC implementation.... 2 x 2-node clusters, plus 3 add'l servers (dev/qa/stg). We also use now for some limited-use VMs (vmware), and have implemented the VVOL configuration that SF makes available. We debated using this for non-prod data for Oracle or not, but two things swayed our opinion. 1) We would not incur a huge disk-space penalty for having dev/qa/stg there as the de-dupe functions would come into play, and 2) we can guarantee IOPS so we know that regardless of what we do in dev/qa, it won't incur a perfornance penalty… more »

What other advice do I have?

I'm not sure why SF isn't more popular in the SMB space. To my mind, it offers a unique combination that isn't easily matched in the marketplace. Kaminario seems to be the closest. I haven't had it long enough to truly "know" the product, but will happily revisit this in 6-12 months. ----------------- Since the intial rollout, we have implemented VVOLs on SF with our VMware 6 setup. Once setup - the initial configuration and communication, plus the SPBM policies - it is quite easy to use, and allows the vmware admin to do it all without having to touch the SF webadmin URL - even setting IOPS…
Learn what your peers think about SolidFire. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2021.
501,818 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Senior Manager Of Infrastructure Services at a legal firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We have a much smaller footprint in our datacenter, reduced overall operating expenses

Pros and Cons

  • "Overall performance of the solution."

    What other advice do I have?

    I would definitely say have a look at SolidFire, just because of the scalability, the ability to add additional nodes, the resiliency of the product. There are definitely other solutions that may come in and say they can do everything that SolidFire does, but in our testing we were unable to find a solution that mirrored what SolidFire could do. I think it just makes a lot of sense to just continue down that path with Solid Fire.
    Senior Storage Administrator at Ensono
    MSP
    Scalability, being able to increase and decrease quickly, enables us to serve our customers faster

    Pros and Cons

    • "The scalability and being able to implement it quickly."
    • "It's a very good Windows-type solution. But we do a lot of legacy systems and the like. So it's getting that incorporated into it that would help us."

    What other advice do I have?

    We purchased SolidFire, in some aspects, for customer facing application. We have started to bring SolidFire into our house to use for our own applications, versus just using it for our customers. The most important criteria when selecting a vendor to work with are, I would say, performance, ease of of using, how to incorporate it in to our datacenter. And that's one of the things with ONTAP - that it's able to be used on SolidFire - we know ONTAP. It made it a lot easier than to have to bring in a different application, learn something new. So that also helped in our decision, it was the ease…
    JM
    Senior Storage Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    We don't need to set SLOs for applications, everything is tier-one; but needs better multi-tenancy segregation

    Pros and Cons

    • "Individual settings you can put on each individual volume, if you want to do that."
    • "A little better segregation of the multi-tenancy. Right now, it's just VLAN-specific, that's all you can do."

    What other advice do I have?

    We purchased SolidFire for customer facing applications, they're all internal, house-developed applications that we sell to customers, to financial services. When selecting a vendor to work with what's important to me are * support * viability - are they going to be around? Support is the big one. Is it just reactionary support, or proactive support? You need both of those. I gave it a seven out of 10 based on what I've already explained. In the past, they seemed like more like a small company - and they were. But what I explained before, the hardware replacement, just replace a node. That's a…
    Enterprise Architect at Ciena
    Vendor
    Horizontal scalability enables us to add a node, compute, and storage, and results in cost savings and better efficiencies

    Pros and Cons

    • "We can add a node, we add compute, we add storage, and we've had really good luck with that."
    • "We had some false positives, power supplies failing, and that's really been about it. We had a couple of glitches during some upgrade processes but nothing that was really concerning to us."

    What other advice do I have?

    The most important criterion when selecting a vendor to work with, for me personally, is partnership. I think it's also important that the vendor has vision. I think it's important that they are willing to collaborate with customers and not just throw solutions at them. I think they should really want to understand your workflows, how they can benefit you and how they can make your life easier in terms of automation or efficiencies or performance. I want to find that they actually really care about what you are doing, as opposed to just throwing a solution out there. Do your due diligence. Do…
    San Administrator at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Helps us deliver service levels to our users through automation, makes provisioning much easier

    Pros and Cons

    • "If we get complaints about any kind of performance metric issues, whether it's storage related or something on the virtual side, we use it to pinpoint what the actual issue is."
    • "For example, the ease of use with the reporting. Right now it's not impossible, but you have to know Sequel. It's a little time consuming to get those customized reports in there."
    Lead Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    Has great APIs right out-of-the-box, but it is not fitting our pattern to go to NAS

    Pros and Cons

    • "SolidFire is one of the products that does have great APIs right out-of-the-box. It works great. The tools and the other stuff seem to work a little better right out-of-the-box than the ONTAP stuff does, C-Mode."
    • "They could do a file-based NAS: SolidFire NAS-based. It's probably not its niche, but that is our direction, not to use block, and it's block. Solid state block is what it is."

    What other advice do I have?

    If they are using block storage, then it is very user-friendly. It's easy to use out-of-the-box. I was not a storage admin when I came to this team. I was a server guy, so it was all new to me, and SolidFire was the easiest thing for me to pick up. We had old 7-Mode systems. We had C-Mode. We had Isilon systems on EMC, and SolidFire was in a day, you knew how to do everything. It is just a real easy setup. We don't have a reason to not use solid states. I don't know why we'd use anything else at this point other than solid state. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: For a storage…
    NT
    Principle Engineer at a tech vendor with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    Enables us to accommodate extreme needs, like burst IOPS, and to solve the "noisy neighbor" problem

    Pros and Cons

    • "Being able to provide quality of service as promised."
    • "I would like to see integration with the cloud, number one. Being able to spin SolidFire in the cloud."

    What other advice do I have?

    Our use case is to provide quality of service and guaranteed IOPS. Replication is okay, meaning they do two copies, they are routing two copies. We're not going more than that, because of the cost. I'm satisfied. The first and foremost criteria when selecting a vendor is that the vendor should have a unique niche. Number two, they should know what they're doing, meaning technical support. Whether it comes to technical support or e-sales. If they're not able to answer my questions on time, then it's a problem. The third is being able to integrate with my existing environment. To a colleague…
    Software Engineer at Target
    Vendor
    Brings scalability and performance and the API is not complicated; coding is quick

    Pros and Cons

    • "Templates are already predefined for it. If you're coding it up, it will take two days. You can pick up a template right there from the API, and it just works for you. Implementation done in 10 minutes."
    • "So feature-wise, I would say more reporting tools that could be merged into it."

    What other advice do I have?

    If you're bring up cloud in-house and you're still not aware of OpenStack Kubernetes, that's the way ahead. If you are putting up NetApp in the background, I think you're all sorted out. Your cloud is all prepared, so all done. The way I see it, there's the scalability and the complexity part of it. And then errors are huge, and when I say huge I mean they are costly. So the way I compare it with other products, maybe the other vendors, the cost is a major factor. And with that, there is complexity, work in silos, so right now it is coming to OpenStack and then beneath you have NetApp…
    System Admin at Niaid
    Real User
    Facilitates ease of administration and provides greater IOPS and speed

    Pros and Cons

    • "Greater IOPS, speed, it's all-flash. So seeing that everything is going to all-flash, all SSDs, SolidFire fits right in there with the emerging trend in IT."
    • "We have a large fiber channel infrastructure, and that's one area that we haven't seen implemented in SolidFire, its more iSCSI."

    What other advice do I have?

    For SolidFire, we're looking into better IOPS for database workloads and for other VM use cases. We purchased it for customer-facing applications, mostly for database administration-type work. We are an enterprise level company, but we are federal. SolidFire is uniquely valuable for a company our size because our company scales, we're supporting thousands of users. And with SolidFire, we can handle the workload. For us the most important criteria when selecting a vendor are reputation, reliability, support. All these things we have gotten from NetApp. NetApp has been out for a long time, they…
    Storage Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    Simple to scale up, scale down; we don't have to spend so many front end cycles on designing the architecture

    Pros and Cons

    • "We can just buy them, scale them as we need on demand, and we don't have to spend so many front end cycles on designing the architecture."
    • "When you set up the nodes, we have to serial into each one of these nodes to configure the IP ranges. It's still very easy, but it's time consuming."

    What other advice do I have?

    When it comes to selecting a vendor, first, we don't deal with small vendors typically. We don't generally want to buy something that's VC-backed. We probably would not have considered SolidFire pre NetApp acquisition. But after it was acquired by NetApp, then we said, "Okay look, this company's not going go away overnight." So that's one criterion, that's a big one. And the second is, am I going to get a commitment in the level of support that I get. When I buy this, are we going to be working together like we're partners, that we're in the same boat together? We're an enterprise level…
    Senior It Systems Engineer at Billion Automative
    Vendor
    Gives us performance, ease of use; we can recompose 350 desktops in a fraction of the time it used to take

    Pros and Cons

    • "The simplicity of it."
    • "We are looking for, potentially, on the Active IQ reporting side, to do reporting based on the datastore. Right now, I can report on the whole SolidFire, or I can report on just a certain datastore or a volume. I'd like to take all of my VDI infrastructure, which as an example would be multiple datastores."

    What other advice do I have?

    Primary use case purchase for us was VDI or virtual desktop infrastructure, with the intention of VDI and our whole assortment of load, for the server infrastructure. Important criteria when selecting a vendor would be reputation, accountability. Support was big for us as well, knowing that support will be there, ten-year, long term. And just durability, and knowing it'll be there. Regarding advice for a colleague researching this type of solution, do your research, obviously. Check it out, give SolidFire a fair chance if that means you're demoing, bring it on for a bake off, definitely do so…
    Enterprise Architect at a consultancy with self employed
    Consultant
    With the footprint being smaller, and performance being way up, we're able to increase IOPS

    Pros and Cons

    • "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."
    • "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 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.
    Head Of Commercial Management Servers at a tech services company
    Consultant
    It delivers stable and efficient data storage.
    Lead Engineer at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    It can allocate a certain number of IOPS in your throughput to your LUNs.

    What other advice do I have?

    Start small, then expand. That's what I would do. I think the solution was very simple and easy to set up, which I really appreciated. To give it a higher rating, I'll have to thoroughly test it and have a better understanding of the whole architecture and the solution and also the capabilities I’ve mentioned. When I look for a vendor such as NetApp, some of the important criteria are the market space, their customer support, and how responsive they are from the account manager to the SEs, not just tech support but also the other guys involved in the organization, too.
    Architect at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    The most valuable features are their QoS, the scalability and the serviceability of the environment.

    What other advice do I have?

    Look at SolidFire. It sounds cliché but it's true. For us, it worked really well.
    Infrastructure Engineer at Netgain hosting
    Consultant
    I like the way It is implemented from a node perspective. I use the QoS settings to maintain a standard of performance for the VMs.

    What other advice do I have?

    Evaluate everything. But if you're looking for an easy-to-implement solution from an all-flash perspective, really take a look at SolidFire. Try to get a PoC in house and run from a proof-of-concept perspective. The API's implementation is all very easy. You can look at it from your power and cooling aspects as well. That's the advice I have: Do a good proof of concept on the flash storage.
    Independent IT Analyst with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    Solidfire has finally added a smaller model; one of the most interesting flash based storage architectures out there.
    SolidFire thinks big and small at the same time! You know, I don’t usually hide my opinions and I’ve already wrote my sentiments about SolideFire a couple of times recently. 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…