At NetApp SolidFire, we have always sought out the most demanding customers in the world. Whether service providers or enterprises, it really doesn’t matter — the common characteristics are around delivering shared IT Infrastructure at scale.
These environments are dynamic, unpredictable, and experiencing rapid growth, and have thrived on the unique SolidFire technology platform. But we have always been looking at ways that we can make the consumption and commercial models for deploying storage in these next-generation environments better, not just the technology. Today we introduced FlashForward Capacity Licensing, a pricing model that is as commercially innovative as the SolidFire platform itself.
In designing the FlashForward Capacity Licensing model, we set out to destroy the rigid, inflexible traditional storage pricing and licensing models that plague people charged with architecting, deploying, and managing next generation data centers.
We also set out with a clear belief that flash hardware platforms are quickly becoming commoditized and that we need to be ahead of that curve, giving our customers complete transparency into the hardware costs by separating out the hardware from software costs.
And thirdly, we set out to simplify the discussion on data efficiencies, which can make comparing flash options in large scale, multi-application environments difficult, to say the least.
So what does all this mean for our customers?
They get an incredibly flexible purchasing model, where software capacity packs can be acquired and provisioned independently from the hardware.
Just think about it. In traditional storage purchasing models, you buy hardware and software that is bundled together, purchased at the same time and in matched capacities. You can never separate them (if you want to split capacity between data centers, for example), and when you upgrade the hardware, you basically have to rebuy the software licenses to go with it.
With FlashForward Capacity Licensing, they get to buy what they need, when and where they need it, fitting their budgets and requirements rather than a vendor’s rigid configurations, and when it comes time to upgrade the hardware, they just switch it out, never having to rebuy the software.
They get an efficient software purchasing model, with perpetual, transferable, and pooled enterprise-wide licensing. Buy the software once, use it forever – adding, moving, and upgrading hardware as required. Basically, they get to say goodbye to stranded islands of storage capacity forever.
They get a predictable pricing model, with pricing based on provisioned capacity. Traditional storage is sold on raw capacity, but effective capacity depends on workloads. And let’s be honest — vendors are kind of incented to overestimate initial efficiency projections and benefit from the lower-than-projected results when they sell more to compensate.
FlashForward Capacity Licensing removes the uncertainty of data reduction calculations, providing a predictable, provisioned capacity pricing structure — something that is incredibly important where the infrastructure supports multiple applications and workloads.
They get a scalable pricing model, with usage-based software and support pricing tiers. The more you buy, the lower the price. This, coupled with a transparent hardware pricing model that will pass-through the benefits of hardware price declines, offers a truly scalable pricing model.
We believe that FlashForward Capacity Licensing offers unprecedented value for our customers. For a recap of the what is included in the program, browse our FlashForward Capacity Licensing page. And stay tuned to what comes next. One thing is for sure, the needs of our customers are unrelenting in their demands for greater flexibility, efficiency, predictability, and scale — from their storage infrastructure and their storage vendor.