SolidFire Unveils Nitrogen 7 Storage Software

Posted on November 18, 2014 By Pedro Hernandez

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A month after raising $82 million to help keep up with brisk demand for its flash-based storage systems, and launching new entry level arrays, Boulder, Colo.-based SolidFire is launching the latest edition of its Element OS storage software, dubbed Nitrogen 7. Combined with the company's SF series all-flash arrays, the software helps deliver performance of 200,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS), according to the company.

The non-disruptive upgrade offers two major new features aimed at helping enterprise IT organizations better manage and safeguard their newly flash-enabled storage environments, according to Jay Prassl, vice president of marketing at SolidFire. They include in VLAN (virtual local area network) Tagging support and a new consistent snapshot group feature.

VLAN Tagging helps IT managers prevent their SolidFire storage systems from overwhelming their converged networks. It's a sign of the times, said Prassl. "Now you don't run six different networks, you run one."

SolidFire's new software offers "a more bespoke way to manage the data flow," said Prassl. It has built-in intelligence that analyzes how "packets move through your storage network [so] you can manage that traffic better, more so than you could previously," said Prassl.

VLAN tagging also servers to enhance security in multi-tenant implementations. Administrators can better isolate services and their storage-related traffic while maintaining a centralized storage management environment.

Also new is Consistent Snapshot Group functionality to improve data protection efforts without invoking third-party tools. The feature ensures that application data is consistent at the time of a snapshot by essentially pausing, synchronizing and resuming transfers and eliminating potential mismatches that can cause data recovery efforts to fail.

Lastly, the software offers support for mixed-node clusters, which enables customers to mix-and-match SolidFire storage nodes (SF2405, SF4805 and SF9010). The capability allows organizations to incorporate "different capacity, performance and protocols within the same cluster to ease infrastructure transitions and reshape capacity and performance resource pools as business needs evolve," boasted the company in a statement.

For those keeping track, it's the company's seventh software release spanning three hardware generations. Dave Wright, SolidFire founder and CEO, said that his company is accelerating the pace of enterprise data storage innovation "with simple, low-risk upgrades and a regular cadence of new feature releases," in a company statement.

SolidFire's shared-nothing, high availability architecture "is the driver behind our proven ability to upgrade without disruption or compromising QoS settings, and it is what allows us to increase the pace of feature delivery to our customers," he concluded.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.


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