Wednesday, March 16, 2016

SolidFire and ONTAP

I had a reseller ask last week "Now that NetApp bought SolidFire, are they going to kill all-flash FAS?"  My answer: not on your life. 

NetApp has sold tens of thousands of all-flash FAS (AFF) systems, which run CDOT, our flagship operating system.  It's a great product that enormous enterprises (and governments) are spending a billion dollars a year on: there's no way we'd back down from continuing to invest in R&D there.  

Besides that, SolidFire has a completely different architecture than AFF.  One way to understand it is that AFF's architecture starts with smaller building blocks.  Here's what I mean:

  1. AFF dedupes each volume individually: SolidFire dedupes the entire cluster.
  2. AFF protects each disk using RAID: SolidFire protects each node using two copies of everything.
  3. AFF puts QOS on each volume: SolidFire shows you whether your QOS promises exceed the cluster's ability.
  4. AFF deals with node failure by having a redundant partner take over: SolidFire deals with node failure by having ALL the other nodes pick up the slack.

These are different architectures, which solve different needs.   I thought this was a great overview of SolidFire as well:

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