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SolidFire is #21 ranked solution in best All-Flash Storage Arrays. IT Central Station users give SolidFire an average rating of 8 out of 10. SolidFire is most commonly compared to NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS): SolidFire vs NetApp AFF (All Flash FAS). The top industry researching this solution is Computer Software Company, accounting for 26% of all views.
What is SolidFire?

SolidFire delivers all five core elements needed to deliver newfound storage agility to your next generation data center and beyond. With SolidFire you can deploy new applications and capabilities faster, provide more agile and scalable infrastructure, increase application performance and predictability, enable automation and end-user self-service and raise operational efficiency and reduce cost.

SolidFire Buyer's Guide

Download the SolidFire Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

SolidFire Customers
California Public Utilities Commission, RFA, 1&1, Ultimate Software , Endicia, ezVerify, MercadoLibre, Sungard Availability Services, ServInt, Elastx, Hosted Network, Colt, Crucial, iWeb, Datapipe, Databarracks
SolidFire Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about SolidFire pricing:
  • "The price of this solution is more expensive than others."

SolidFire Reviews

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Mir Gulzar Ahmed
Manager IT at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5
Simple to deploy and has good stability

Pros and Cons

  • "SolidFire provides seamless performance across your storage system when you need to scale up. Other storage systems do not do that."
  • "SolidFire should start from two nodes instead of the four nodes. That's the only thing. In a lot of solutions, we have to use four nodes, that's the better thing. But as a starting point, two is better. That's why their starting point is expensive."

What is our primary use case?

Because I'm also a PC guy for my company and in Pakistan there is not a third-person specific guy for a client or specific job, we are also doing the very tough job as the IT specialists. So I have to look after the solution, the technical stuff, and also the deployment. I am personally working in all three departments. I have to, because it's my job as the head of IT in my company. We are a resellers, so we are actually giving solutions to our customers. Regarding SolidFire, it's a very good storage solution when you are looking for a software defined data center.

SolidFire provides seamless performance across your storage system when you need to scale up. Other solutions(software defined data center) do not provide that much of scalability.

If customer doesn't want to learn a lot of software stuff and only wants to learn one piece of software, and does not want to learn the storage system; that's where SolidFire comes in, because its software defined and it is really good for software defined data centers(SDC) and virtualization.

What I mean is, if a customer doesn't need a centralized storage system but does need a data center solution which is capable of being an agile software defined storage system, then they should choose SolidFire; but if they need a big centralized storage SAN, they shouldn't choose SolidFire.

How has it helped my organization?

For a customer who purchased SolidFire, they don't had reported any issue regarding it's performance or scalability.The end result is better productivity due to seamless performance of any application.

What is most valuable?

In terms of SolidFire's most valuable features, simplicity is the key component and key feature of SolidFire. It meant that the administrator or the user do not need to learn about storage RAID Groups or something like that, but they only need to provision the storage space that they need for the host. SolidFire's is being used in NetApp HCI(Hyper-converge Infrastructure)solutions that comes with a Deployment Engine to make the solution more simpler faster and easier to deploy.When you need a software defined storage system SolidFire's is really, really good.

When a customer need complete "Software defined Data-center Solution" with compute and storage; then NetApp HCI is far better choice than any other HCI Solutions.

SolidFire's really simple to deploy. you don't need to learn a lot. When you compare the NetApp storage system with SolidFire, both are very simple to deploy, but comparing to the other products from NetApp, SolidFire is even more simpler to deploy.

What needs improvement?

SolidFire should start from two nodes instead of the four nodes. That's the only thing. In a lot of solutions, we have to use four nodes, that's the better thing. But as a starting point, two is better. That's why their starting point is expensive. 

There is another thing - they should have a mixed/Hybrid disk option too; like other solutions have. If you get around the two things, then you can also compete with the cost. The others have mixed/Hybrid disk options. That's why they are cheaper.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Collectively; stability is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is really, really good with reference to other storage systems. Other software defined data centers do not have that much storage scalability. SolidFire is very scalable and that's really good.

The starting point of SolidFire is really a little bit on the expensive side, but from a scalability perspective, as a total cost of ownership, if you go for it then it's not so expensive.If you want a scalable solution, of course, the starting point will be expensive.

How are customer service and technical support?

The product is really amazing, so I will not even think about the technical support because it's so easy to manage. There is no problem when you apply the solution according to the requirements and the documentation. You don't need support. In comparison other storage systems like Oracle, and others, have lots of problems and you need support. But with NetApp I only need the support to replace the component and that's easy to do. Also, the fault frequency of NetApp is really low compared to other storage systems.

I didn't experience any kind of problem which took a long time with NetApp support, but I did find a lot of problems which held me with support for other storage solutions like Oracle and EMC. This is very important because the backend engine is very strong. This is really a very smooth experience through the warranty period and of course after the warranty period. I got very good support from NetApp.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is very simple as SolidFire build for SDC.

What was our ROI?


What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

One thing I would advise people is regarding the price. This is a very important point here. When you go for being a gold partner, not as a customer, then you should get a better discount. And if you get a better discount from NetApp, then we can compete with any other solution. But here, it is really important to tell the customer what the total cost of ownership is, not just the starting point, because at the starting point, it's still a little bit expensive. But when you have a back-end gold partnership, then you can tell NetApp, "Okay, NetApp I am competing for the cheaper solution." Then you can get extra discounts to sell the product.

But then in parallel, you must inform the customer. If you want a Ferrari, you have to pay for that.You have to tell the customer, "Technically, it is very good." You have to convince your customer that if they want technical ability, agility, simplicity and real ease of management plus a lot of other things, then you have to pay for that. There's no free lunch at all. Somebody has to pay.

What other advice do I have?

We are in a crisis situation for everyone, for customers, for partners, for principals, manufacturers. We need a specific solution to move on to the new normal. So from the available solutions, HCI (Hyper Converged Infrastructure) would be the future of IT. HCI is the future, it is easy faster to deploy collectively. You don't need to buy frequently - just buy once and scale out when you need more resources.

So, I think for the customers want their IT to have a continuous support and response for business needs, then they should choose HCI solutions.

I will advise to choose HCI from NetApp, others can choose HCI from other hardware manufacturers, but the future I believe is HCI.I believe and recommend that the best HCI is the NetApp HCI(The back-end Storage used for NetApp HCI is SolidFire)

The difference between SolidFire and other storage is that it is a stand alone storage. No one has that good storage software or that scalability and performance. On a scale of one to ten, I would rate SolidFire an eight.

The only thing is the initial cost because we have to convince the customer that he has to pay more. That's the only thing in this case. It's not an overall technical, scalability, or simplicity issue. Only the price factor brings it down to eight. Otherwise, if any NetApp partner is a gold partner and they get the good discount then I can easily give SolidFire a 10.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Arnaud Salmon
Presales Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Top 5
Good functionality, excellent performance, and integrates well with other solutions

Pros and Cons

  • "I would say in terms of architecture and in terms of functionality, the product is quite good."
  • "You don't have business continuity with SolidFire. I think it could be a nice feature to have in the future."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily for a hyper-converged solution, and the hyper-converged solution with NetApp HCI is to address the most common workloads, generic workloads, also workloads around VDI. It's primarily for everything around performance, around software like the CAD suite, and around scientific completion.

What is most valuable?

The performance with the QoS is its most valuable aspect.

The integration with VMware is excellent. There are different plugins to manage the SolidFire storage from the vCenter level. That I really appreciate. 

SolidFire even as a standalone storage platform is excellent. 

I would say in terms of architecture and in terms of functionality, the product is quite good. 

It's block access storage, however, for block access storage we have the guarantee of performance. 

We have the duplication and we have the encryption with this solution. We have almost all the standards needed for storage with SolidFire. In terms of protection, with the level of protection we can set between the SolidFire nodes, it's very good.

What needs improvement?

The only thing I would see as a drawback of SolidFire, is that it's a storage that we can address only with the iSCSI protocol and no other protocol such as FC, or things like that, unfortunately. It's probably the only point that I can see that is not positive compared to other storage solutions. 

It would be ideal if the solution could be more open with access protocols. 

Sometimes we have to be careful when we need to add some storage. I'd say some tips and some best practices with respect to that would help. 

You don't have business continuity with SolidFire. I think it could be a nice feature to have in the future.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with this solution at my current company for one year, however, in my previous position I worked with SolidFire solution for two years. I'd say I have around three years of experience with the product.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've never had any issues with SolidFire's stability, except once. We had a problem with a node, a problem with a motherboard. In fact, with the protection level, we changed the motherboard without any disruption in production and in storage services. If we can change like that from one motherboard of another, and change an entire SolidFire node without disruption, it's okay and I'd consider that quite a stable product. It was even done without performance issues as I recall. From this point of view, it's really a really nice, reliable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is quite good. I don't have a number in mind, however, I know that when SolidFire is part of the HCI product from NetApp, we can scale up to at least 40 SolidFire nodes. That is quite good for a full SSD solution. On that side, it's really enough to address the most common storage needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

The only time I had an issue was with a motherboard. In fact, with the SolidFire technology, NetApp was able to acquire Active IQ. Active IQ is the software layer that is pushing all information on the health of the SolidFire platform. 

Therefore, the support is really quite proactive, in fact. Each time there was something to do, a component to change, or an upgrade to do on the platform, it was followed by emails from the NetApp support, who would remind me of necessary changes. Even with Active IQ, we've had advice on what we could do on the system to get better performance or better organization about the data that resides on the SolidFire platform. 

It's got really great proactive support, and we're quite satisfied with them.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. It's pretty straightforward. There was some information we needed to get before installation, such as IP addresses, due to the fact that we were with an iSCSI storage and we needed some IP addresses for each node that composing the SolidFire storage solution. That said, when we have all that in an array, when we have all the information ready to go, the installation process is really easy, quite fast, and well-integrated when we want to provide this kind of storage to VMware.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Within HCI, the whole solution is considered to be quite extensive. As just a storage solution, however, SolidFire is at the same level of pricing as a full SSD solution like ASF. It really depends on what the customer's needs are. That said, it's quite well positioned in terms of price.

What other advice do I have?

We're a distributor.

SolidFire is on its own standard storage platform, and, as it's embedded with HCI from NetApp, adds to the storage for the hyper-converged solution.

There are a lot of use cases for SolidFire within HCI. It can address most of the workloads we have on the customer side. It's really something. We can build solutions that really fit the customer and we can size the compute as needed. 

For the VMware server, we use ESX, and we can also add into the compute nodes some CPU cards for all that is graphic or scientific calculations. On the storage side, we can build the storage we need with the SolidFire nodes. We can really address on one side, the computer needs, and on the other side, the storage needs. In fact, that's the value of HCI by NetApp. What is nice with SolidFire is that the QoS is embedded, and for each volume you create, you put the QoS on it. And you're sure to grantee the service level agreement for the customer, depending on the workloads he needs.

Overall, I would rate the solution at an eight out of ten. It doesn't quite have the same amount of options and features as Pure Storage. Yet, it's pretty impressive.

The only recommendation I have to others is on the network side. You need to really get all the information required before you try to deploy this solution. That's all. It's a little work to do beforehand, however, it's really important to address everything before implementing SolidFire.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
Learn what your peers think about SolidFire. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
543,424 professionals have used our research since 2012.
AS
Presales Engineer at Tech Data Corporation
Reseller
Top 20
Easy to use, good performance and security, with proactive technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "The dashboard is such that you don't need to be a storage expert to administer it."
  • "The inclusion of more protocols and interfaces would make it easier to integrate with other products."

What is our primary use case?

We are a distributor and this is one of the products that we resell. I work with the entire NetApp portfolio.

It is used by our clients as a block storage solution.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the QoS and its ease of use. The dashboard is such that you don't need to be a storage expert to administer it.

The replication works well.

They now have a 100GB network interface, which is nice because I was disappointed with the original iSCSI protocol. That was all that it supported and I found it to be a limitation.

What needs improvement?

For people using FC SAN, SolidFire is not an option because of the interface.

The inclusion of more protocols and interfaces would make it easier to integrate with other products.

Adding NFS or another file service would be a good feature, on top of the block storage. There are, however, already other solutions for this in the NetApp portfolio.

For how long have I used the solution?

I began working with SolidFire two years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have a SolidFire grid set up and I find that it is a stable solution. I did have to replace a disk on one occasion, which is something that the technical support contacted me about. While I have not used SolidFire in production, I have not heard complaints about stability from any of our customers.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are some rules that have an impact on scalability. If the existing nodes have a small capacity then a much bigger node cannot simply be added. The reason for this is that there needs to be sufficient capacity to provide redundancy in case one of the nodes is lost. This means that during the design of the system, there are a few things that have to be considered. If the rules are respected then scalability is not a problem.

How are customer service and technical support?

Each time I have been in contact with technical support, it has been proactive. They always call me before I realize that there is a problem. They will call or send an email, at which point they will explain whether there are updates that you should consider installing.

We are connected to NetApp using Active IQ, and the support contacted me to say that there was a disk that was not behaving as expected, according to their metrics and analytics.  They sent me a new disk and we changed it, which was a very easy process. 

In a previous experience, I had a SolidFire platform in the lab, and I remember that we changed a motherboard on one of the nodes. It was not a problem and it was done without disruption. The data on the system was still available from the other nodes.

Overall, I have no complaints about the NetApp support around SolidFire.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have experience with Pure Storage and NetApp is the better option. The software is similar and the Pure Storage has better performance but with NetApp, it is easier to scale up and scale-out.

What other advice do I have?

Most of the time when we sell SolidFire, it is integrated with NetApp HCI. Together, they make up part of a whole package that includes servers, compute, storage, and network. SolidFire can be fun in standalone mode but most of the time, if we have a need for flash storage then we will use the EF-Series. We also have the AFF storage with ONTAP as an option.

My advice to anybody who is implementing this solution is to make sure that it is properly designed. There are always things that you need to be aware of when designing an efficient system.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: reseller
PatrickStienhuber
IT Infrastructure Consultant at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Top 10
Scalability provides good benefits, but too expensive to use company-wide

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature of this solution is its scalability."
  • "This solution would be improved if it were made to be more compatible with other products."

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is its scalability. That is the biggest benefit of using this solution. 

What needs improvement?

The entry-level for this solution is so high that we had to use other solutions for some of our smaller office locations that are in different parts of the world. As a consequence, because we could not use it across our entire organization, we have changed to something else. I would like to see the entry-level changed so that you can do really small systems with SolidFire.

This solution would be improved if it were made to be more compatible with other products.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is the biggest benefit of using this solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support for this solution can be good and bad. If you have a really big issue then it's bad because it takes quite a long time for the issue to be solved.

There are different levels of service. You can have a technician who is able to do the troubleshooting and is allowed to set up the commands.

If you just have questions with no due date, or you just have to fix a small package, the support is good. You always get the answers you need. However, in critical situations, we have had problems. For example, in the last three years, we spend three or four hours on the phone with support where nobody could escalate our tickets. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have had to stop using this solution because the price was too high for global implementation. We are now using NetApp MetroCluster. We were happy with the functionality and switched only because of the price.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is straightforward.

I would say that you can deploy this solution in an hour if you know how to do it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price of this solution is more expensive than others.

What other advice do I have?

The suitability of this solution depends on the use case, so anybody who is researching this solution should take care to consider their use cases first.

I cannot think of any additional features this solution needs, but there is a long list of improvements.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
CS
Founder, President and CEO with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Competitively priced and easy to use with great technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "The system efficiency is excellent overall."
  • "The user interface needs to be improved. Much of the client feedback involves comments such as "Oh, it's hard to navigate through.""

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily used as an on-premises VMWare based application provisioning platform.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable thing aspect of the solution is the fact that it's all in one and all in a very small physical footprint. It has all of your major components, including your storage area network, servers, and networking footprint.

The delivery of the product is very fast and the solution itself deploys quickly, it is up and running within hours.

The product is competitively priced and technical support is good.

You can easily and effectively scale this solution. It's one of the main selling points and one of the features that makes it far superior to competitors.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been dealing with the solution for about three years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is amazing. There aren't bugs or glitches. There isn't freezing or crashing. I find the solution reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is unbelievably scalable. It's one of the solution's main characteristics that differentiate it from other similar products. If a company is looking for something that can scale easily, this is that solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support of the solution is quite good. They are responsive and knowledgeable.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward, deployment is lightning fast and very easy.

What about the implementation team?

In House

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing of the solution is fair and definitely competes in the marketplace. We have no monthly cost. We bought the product outright with all licensing included and have support with them for three years.

What other advice do I have?

I'd recommend the solution. Implementing it is a breeze, support is good and scaling is easy. If you do not have a lot of technical capability on-premise, that would certainly be a leading reason to look at this solution.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
RT
Technical Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Reseller
Top 10
Good resiliency and performs very well without any bugs

Pros and Cons

  • "If you buy the solution for its specific purpose it will work well."
  • "They could make the mNode more user-friendly. Now you need to configure and add nodes by CLI and it’s not really easy to manage. If they created a web interface to do the management of the mNode, that would be great!."

What is our primary use case?

I work as a technical consultant and our company are resellers. We sell hyper-converged solutions to our customers. We use mainly NetApp HCI and SolidFire. We use a variety of versions depending on the customer's requirements. Our main use of the product is for ESX environments and Hyper-V environments. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of the product is its resiliency. 

What needs improvement?

The product does what it's meant to do and I don't think there's any need for improvement at the moment. The same applies to additional features, which would make the product quite expensive and I don't think it requires that. If you add features, you might lose the things that the product is best at. It makes the most sense to let it be what it is. If you buy the solution for its specific purpose it will work well. Once you add additional features like Essex, you diminish the system and that would be a shame. 

They could make the mNode more user-friendly. Now you need to configure and add nodes by CLI and it’s not really easy to manage. If they created a web interface to do the management of the mNode, that would be great!.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using NetApp SolidFire ( /products/solidfire-reviews ) for about a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is stable and performs very well without any bugs. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I believe the scalability of the product is very good. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I've had a very good experience with technical support. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very simple, anyone can do it. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I can't comment on the price of the product because I only deal with it on a technical level. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
JR
CTO at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Reseller
Top 5
Good performance and managability, but technical support needs a lot of improvement

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the performance, as well as how you manage performance on the system."
  • "The technical support is really bad and has to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and SolidFire is one of the products that we implement for our customers. It is used for virtualization.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the performance, as well as how you manage performance on the system.

What needs improvement?

The technical support is really bad and has to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been working with SolidFire since it was acquired by NetApp in 2016.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, I have not had any issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability has not been a problem.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support from NetApp is really bad.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We deal with and promote similar solutions from NetApp and Kaminario.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward and quick.

What other advice do I have?

Rating this solution is difficult because I would rate SolidFire very high and NetApp very low.

I have no trouble with features but we need the proper support. Whether I would recommend this solution depends on the requirements, although without knowing more, I would recommend something else.

Overall, I would rate this solution a five out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: reseller