CloudSigma and SolidFire Team for All-SSD Public Cloud Storage

By Pedro Hernandez

Hard drives are out and solid-state drives (SSDs) are in.

That's the message CloudSigma, a Swiss cloud services provider, is sending as it embarks on an upgrade to its storage infrastructure. CloudSigma is taking a bold new direction by announcing that its public cloud storage offering is swapping out hard disk drives (HDDs) for an all-SSD setup.

The flash-powered storage cloud will be anchored by systems from Boulder, Colo.-based SolidFire, a specialist in SSD-based storage arrays for multi-tenant cloud computing environments.

SolidFire's systems employ performance virtualization tech to enable HDD-like levels of capacity scaling and maintain consistent performance levels -- must-haves in the increasingly competitive cloud services arena. The hardware is governed by the firm's own Element storage operating system, which delivers real-time compression and deduplication as well as data protection features.

For cloud companies, it all boils down to predictable performance, which the company offers with guaranteed quality of service (QoS) tech, argues SolidFire CEO and founder Dave Wright. "Our SSD storage system is designed specifically for cloud providers like CloudSigma to help bring their customers’ business-critical and performance-sensitive applications to the cloud without concern of disruption," he said in a statement.

"This partnership enables CloudSigma to deliver more consistent quality for the thousands of applications within its shared public cloud infrastructure," added Wright.

Currently, SolidFire offers two models, the SF3010 and SF6010, which offer 300 GB and 600 GB of flash storage capacity, respectively. The 1U systems are outfitted with 10, 2.5-inch SSDs and support 10 GbE iSCSI. Both products can scale to 100 nodes, over 1 PB of capacity (over 2 PB with the SF6010 model) and host more than 100,000 tenant volumes in a single cluster, claims SolidFire.

CloudSigma CEO and co-founder Robert Jenkins noted that with SolidFire's tech in his company's facilities, business customers will experience a healthy bump in application performance.

"With SolidFire's SSD technology, we have radically improved the performance of our entire cloud. After pioneering public cloud SSD technology two years ago, we have seen the value of SSD's ability to successfully remove storage bottlenecks and inconsistent performance in the cloud for critical systems and applications, especially when backed by an SLA," said Jenkins in press remarks.

While SSDs typically cost more than HDD storage, CloudSigma isn't passing on the cost to its customers.

The company is keeping its prices in line with its previous disk-based offering. CloudSigma's SSD cloud storage will cost $0.14 per GB per month.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

This article was originally published on April 04, 2013