Kris Day, Managing Director Asia Pacific and Japan at SolidFire
Solid Fire is one of the Flash Storage vendors that is making waves in the fast moving flash dominated enterprise storage space.
Others have made more noise, but over the course of 2015 we have seen Solidfire becoming more visible in the ASEAN region.
We took some time to meet with Kris Day, Managing Director Asia Pacific and Japan at SolidFire in order to understand what the company is doing that is different to the slew of other flash vendors that are trying to expand in this crowded space.
What quickly became clear is that SolidFire is not a “me too” flash vendor. SSD is only a small part of their story. SolidFire use Flash for performance, but the reality is that SSD is just a component in a storage system that is designed for the demands of modern IT and what they term “next generation datacentres”
Day speaks a different language from traditional storage professionals. At no point in the conversation did we hear him talk about IOPs or Reduced Rackspace footprint.
Instead he constantly making reference to issues like guaranteed quality of service, addressing workloads with appropriate resource, and supporting multi tenanted environments.
As we listened to Day explains, it became clear he sees SolidFire as company that provides solutions for service provider environments much more than they are a disk vendor. For Day, his disk system is part of an overall service provider solution. He does not engage in the clichéd flash storage arguments of providing fast IOPS in an on premise datacentre.
As an example, Day mentions the REST-based API that underpins their guaranteed Quality Of Service (QOS). He explains that the SolidFire solution has been built to enable QOS by workload with resource logically allocated on a per workload basis.
In a multi tenanted environment this solves the problem of “noisy neighbor” and ensures that each application is granted the resource it needs.
SolidFire’s value proposition is clearly in the service provider and cloud space.
According to Day, storage based in Private, Public and Hybrid Cloud is expanding a much faster rate than in traditional datacentres.
SolidFire’s unique proposition enables service providers to build scalable, high performing and secure cloud storage platforms that support the process of moving enterprise workloads from on premise into that cloud.
Day believes that SolidFire is changing the game. Using their “Fueled by SolidFire Program”, he and his team are helping service providers to build robust “Storage as a Service” offerings.
He sees SolidFire as more than just a technology partner, with his team as his business partners, helping to build commercial proposition and also assisting service providers with their “go to market plans”.
The “Fueled by SolidFire Program” is about creating game changing next generation storage solutions with service providers and then speaking to IT Directors and CIOs to explain how they can work with these partners to buy and consume storage based on workload SLAs rather than speeds and feeds.
In our opinion Day’s approach and SolidFire’s product is differentiated and relevant in today’s IT world. The hype of flash is fast diminishing. Every major disk vendor has a flash offering which now competes head on with the pure play enterprise flash vendors.
For SolidFire, their genesis is about a new paradigm in the way storage is consumed. Mobilising the storage offering around supporting applications and workloads in multi tenanted environments is clear future path for any storage vendor that wants to remain relevant in future ready datacentres.
The advantage that SolidFire has, which Day readily points to is that traditional storage vendors are bogged down with legacy that often can conflict with new Quality of Service Storage Consumption models.
This baggage which weighs down the old school vendors is something that SolidFire just don’t have to carry.