The Colorado-based flash storage company SolidFire has raised $82 million in new, Series D funding to help take it toward the next stage of its development. According to CEO Dave Wright, this latest investment puts the company’s total funding at $150 million, which is "more than was raised by virtually all of the previous generations of public storage companies."
Wright said the new funding will help SolidFire maintain rapid but sustainable growth. He contrasted his firm with others that grow revenues while incurring ever-increasing losses, adding "companies that are still burning deep holes won't likely find a receptive audience to their IPOs."
Upon announcing the latest round of funding, SolidFire also unveiled the addition of two new flash storage nodes to its offering lineup. One of them, the SF2405, "dramatically decreases the cost of entry" for a cloud-scale, all-flash array, said Jay Prassl, vice president of marketing, writing in a blog post on the company's Web site.
For Entry-Level IaaS
Founded by Wright in December 2009, SolidFire offers scalable data storage for cloud service providers and enterprise users. An August 2014 Magic Quadrant report on solid-state storage arrays by the analyst firm Gartner said the company's offerings make it "an attractive platform for running next-generation cloud and big data workloads."
However, Gartner identified SolidFire's high initial costs, even for its low-end platforms, as a potential drawback for customers. The company's new SF2405 node offering would seem to directly address that assessment. The four-node configuration, Prassl wrote, provides 35 TB of capacity and 200,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS) for less than $100,000, making it a more affordable option for "those looking to take their first steps toward deploying a private cloud infrastructure and IT-as-a-Service."
SolidFire today also unveiled a second storage node, the SF4805, which offers twice as much density as the SF2405 with 44 percent more storage capacity, according to Prassl. The four-node-footprint SF4805 provides 69TB of capacity at the lowest dollar-per-gigabyte rate available in the industry today, Prassl said.
Consolidate, Automate, Scale
We reached out to Prassl to learn more about the market that SolidFire is targeting with its new platform offerings.
Prassl said SolidFire from the beginning has focused on both enterprise and service provider customers, but -- unlike many other storage companies -- emphasizes three key benefits: the ability to consolidate many workloads, the ability to automate and the ability to deploy a system that will "seamlessly scale over time."
"Our new platforms allow them to do that," Prassl said, adding that the SF2405 is available at half the price of SolidFire's previous entry-level offering.
"There's a very clear signal that we get from our customers and the market as a whole," he said, and that is that adopters don't start out looking to "deploy flash from wall to wall." Instead, customers generally start using SolidFire's flash platform to meet a very specific need, and then build from there.
"We allow customers to mix and match," he said. "You never obsolete your storage platform."