Research Library

NetApp SolidFire Element X – Product Brief

Last updated December 28th, 2018 for annual review and updates. 4-page review of Software Defined Storage product SolidFire Element X. Covers highlights, potential, usage, and commentary on strengths/weaknesses.

SolidFire has developed and marketed a line of enterprise-grade, scale-out, all-flash appliances for several years. The operating system for these SF Series appliances, called the “Element OS”, is now available as a software-only solution that customers can deploy on hardware from SolidFire’s compatibility list.

SolidFire is a block storage system providing native iSCSI access for hosts and fibre channel (FC) access via a dedicated FC interconnect module. Element X clusters are comprised of single- node appliances, starting at four nodes and 20TBs and scaling to 100 nodes and PBs of effective capacity. Each storage node adds capacity and processing power, allowing the cluster to scale performance linearly to the millions of IOPS, using automated load balancing to enable non-disruptive expansion. Clusters can contain nodes of any compatible hardware with any valid configuration of storage devices.

SolidFire’s “Helix” data protection scheme distributes two redundant copies of each data block across all nodes in the cluster, ensuring data resiliency and enabling non-disruptive upgrades. SolidFire provides native snapshot-based backup and restore functionality compatible with any object store or device that has an S3 or SWIFT compatible API. SolidFire includes synchronous, asynchronous and snapshot replication options and the ability to pair a single cluster with up to four other clusters for failover protection.

SolidFire’s Element X includes Quality of Service (QoS) features that allow minimum, maximum and burst IOPS levels to be guaranteed for each volume. Global, in-line deduplication, in-line and post-process compression and reservation-less thin provisioning provide an effective data reduction level of 5-10x, according to the company.

Element X includes a web-based user interface and a REST-based API that can be used to automate all aspects of storage provisioning, management and reporting. SolidFire’s storage management capabilities have been integrated with OpenStack, CloudStack, Flexiant, and OnApp frameworks, enabling native performance management.

SolidFire Element X Product Brief Includes: 

  • Overview
  • Highlights
  • Usage and Deployment
  • Eval(u)Scale Table
  • Evaluator Group’s Opinion

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