1&1: My Pick for the Winner of the 2016 Innovation Awards

By Ruairi McBride, Technical Account Manager and Team Leader, Arrow ECS, NetApp A-Team member


From a customer point of view, 1&1 offers a fantastic level of services to all types of customers; from a one-man band looking to take his business on the Internet, to large companies transitioning to the cloud. Their ability to offer a comprehensively-tailored solution to meet any and all individual needs is a colossal differentiation in a sea of lacklustre cloud service providers (CSPs).


With today’s growth in CSPs, 1&1 needed to be able to stay at the forefront of innovation. As a global leader in this space, they quickly saw the benefit of deploying a SolidFire solution, which delivered immense performance increases and massive reduction in provisioning. Previously, customers had to choose between set tiers of performance/price point, which were spread over multiple vendors and various products and architectures. That meant that customers had to suffer disruption to service as requirements changed over the lifetime of a project. This traditional method introduced a lot of unnecessary complexity and roadblocks. To alleviate these business inhibitors, 1&1 sought out a trusted storage partner that could simplify deployments whilst increasing user adoption and experience.


Recently, 1&1 introduced the new 1&1 Cloud Server, which allows SMB customers to benefit from an easy-to-use, flexible and high-performance enterprise product tailored to their needs. This was only possible through the use of SolidFire.


I did have the pleasure to work with them about five years ago when one of their UK sites was deploying several large FAS systems to replace a competitor’s solution that never really delivered on what was promised. Today, 1&1 have embraced the uniqueness of SolidFire scale-out architecture and QoS, which fits perfectly with their business model, providing the flexibility and reliability that CSPs require for their business.


26 years into the company’s history, 1&1 are still fresh and very much at the pole position of innovation, and I wish them every success with this nomination and future endeavours.




Ruairi McBride




Ruairi is a Technical Account Manager and Team Leader for Arrow ECS in London, England. His main focus is enterprise storage, particularly the NetApp portfolio.


Ruairi has recently taken up cycling, and after competing in the London 46, he’s set his sights on the London 100 and beyond.



  • Years of NetApp experience: 9
  • Certifications: 13 certifications in Cisco, NetApp, and VMware, including Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA); NetApp Certified Data Administrator (NCDA); and VMware Certified Professional 5