Why Companies Choose SolidFire (and ONTAP) for Their Cloud Services

Data FabricBy Jim Lyons, NetApp

 

The annual Insight conference is a place where NetApp customers, partners, and technical experts gather to share their data management expertise and experiences. This year, I had the opportunity to attend two of the customer-led sessions that focused on the design and management of new cloud services. One presenter discussed why his company chose SolidFire as the foundation for its IaaS business while the other shared why ONTAP was the best fit for his company’s SaaS products. Each session emphasized the importance of standardization, automation, and storage efficiency. In addition, the presentations highlighted how NetApp customers benefit by having access to more than one all-flash solution.

 

Calligo: IaaS Based on SolidFire

Any company that launches a new IaaS solution needs to compete and win in a marketplace dominated by hyperscale cloud services from Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft. Calligo CEO Julian Box, who had previously co-founded Virtustream, had a clear vision of what would be needed when he launched his new company in 2012. Calligo differentiates itself by providing a service tailored for companies that need to comply with EU data privacy requirements, including the new General Data Protection Regulation.

 

To compete and win on price, Julian knew that the Calligo storage architecture had to be efficient, standardized, and highly automated. It would also need to provide guaranteed performance for a wide range of uses cases instead of the cookie-cutter approach favored by hyperscale services. As he reviewed his data storage options, he realized that only one company could meet his requirements—a start-up called SolidFire.

 

It turns out that Calligo was one of SolidFire’ very first customers. Unlike many of its IaaS competitors at the time, Calligo realized that an all-flash design could lower the company’s operating costs while delivering a better user experience for its customers. The combination of the SolidFire shared nothing architecture, its industry-leading QOS features, and its built-in encryption technology were a perfect fit for the Calligo cloud service. The SolidFire APIs enable complete automation of storage services, and the combination of QoS features and configuration flexibility enables Calligo to run at extremely high utilization levels while maintaining guaranteed performance for its customers.

 

With 300% year-on-year revenue growth, Calligo has never looked back. It continues to rely exclusively on all-flash solutions from SolidFire for its IaaS services as it grows and adds new locations throughout the world. Download the Calligo customer case study to learn more.

 

TechnologyOne: Enterprise SaaS Using ONTAP

The team at TechnologyOne had different challenges and different requirements when designing a new architecture for their enterprise SaaS product. The company had already made a decision to go “all in” on the cloud but the IT team quickly realized that the cost of storage would increase rapidly as they added new customers, even as their CPU and network costs leveled-off over time.

 

Already familiar with NetApp software available via the AWS Marketplace—ONTAP Cloud and AltaVault for AWS—they decided to investigate whether NetApp could design a storage solution that would meet or exceed the service levels offered by Amazon, while still enabling TechnologyOne to use AWS for its compute services. The result is a design that leverages the comprehensive data services that only ONTAP can provide: pre-validated FlexPod building blocks that can be automated via APIs; storage efficiencies that enable TechnologyOne to save up to 80%  on its storage capacity; MetroCluster software for synchronous replication; SnapVault and AltaVault software for tiered backups; the ability to support all-flash, hybrid-flash and disk storage within a single architecture; support for both NAS and SAN protocols; and, the ability to connect with multiple hyperscale cloud services using NetApp Private Storage for Cloud.

 

 

The result? TechnologyOne improved its service levels and data management capabilities while reducing costs, with a payback period of just over 12 months on their initial investment. In addition, they are investigating a SolidFire solution to support an internal DevOps team.  For that use case, they are seeking a combination of zero touch management and granular scale-out features that only SolidFire can provide.

 

For more information, download the TechnologyOne customer case study.

 

Different Requirements Call for Different Solutions

The NetApp solution that was a perfect fit for Calligo would not have met the requirements of TechnologyOne, and vice-versa. This is the reason why NetApp acquired SolidFire, and it also explains why the company offers three industry-leading all-flash solutions: E-Series for applications that require extreme low latency, All-Flash FAS (AFF) for those that benefit from its comprehensive data services, and SolidFire for next-generation data centers and 3rd Platform applications.

 

For more information on the annual NetApp technical conference, check out these video highlights from Insight Berlin.