NetApp bolsters flash lineup with multi-million SolidFire acquisition

Hardware storage company NetApp has today announced that it has agreed to purchase SolidFire - a market leader in all-flash storage solutions - for $870 million (£584 million) in cash.

The plan is for SolidFire products to be incorporated into NetApp’s data fabric strategy, delivering data management across flash, disk and cloud resources.

George Kurian, chief executive officer of NetApp said: “This acquisition will benefit current and future customers looking to gain the benefits of webscale cloud providers for their own data centers. SolidFire combines the performance and economics of all-flash storage with a webscale architecture that radically simplifies data center operations and enables rapid deployments of new applications.

"We look forward to extending NetApp’s flash leadership with the SolidFire team, products and partner ecosystem, and to accelerating flash adoption through NetApp’s large partner and customer base."

This acquisition is big news in the storage industry and will allow NetApp to seriously bolster its flash portfolio and suggests that the days of flash taking over the datacentre - a trend which has been predicted for some time now - are closer than ever.

Dave Wright, chief executive officer at SolidFire added: “Both SolidFire and NetApp have deep technical, customer-centric cultures, which are focused on delivering innovations that give customers a competitive advantage. We look forward to enhancing NetApp’s position within the all-flash array market while helping NetApp and SolidFire customers and partners succeed.”

UPDATE: Jacob Cherian, VP of Product Management and Product Strategy at Reduxio Systems, commented: "Traditional storage vendors have seen significant erosion in market share and revenues as new vendors have introduced systems based on architectures optimised for flash. These traditional vendors have tried to retrofit legacy architectures with flash, but the efforts have produced less than desirable results as these architectures were designed to work with spinning media. Given this, it’s not surprising that NetApp has decided to make an acquisition.

"Although, they will have multiple overlapping products if the acquisition goes through with the E-series from the Engenio acquisition, the internally developed FlashRay, and all-flash ONTAP based systems along with systems from this acquisition."

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