What a week here at SolidFire — and what an indication that if you are considering all-flash arrays, you ought to be evaluating the industry’s leading solution: SolidFire.


First, we were one of only a few companies to move up on the ability to execute axis and right to the completeness of vision access in the 2015 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Solid-State Arrays.


Next, our CEO, Dave Wright, won the Ernst & Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the desert region. More convincing proof that SolidFire is a force of disruption for storage as usual.


And then, the news everyone here was waiting for. Gartner gave SolidFire the highest score (3.60) for overall use case in the 2015 Critical Capabilities (CC) for Solid-State Arrays. That’s back-to-back as the top-rated AFA for us. 


In fact, we didn’t just hold our #1 overall position. We believe we dominated, also earning the highest rating in four out of the five specific use cases Gartner evaluates in the CC.


SolidFire received the highest scores for the following use cases (out of 5):

  • Overall Use Case (3.60) – average of the following use cases.
  • Online Transaction Processing (3.58) – closely affiliated with business-critical applications, such as database management systems (DBMSs).
  • Server Virtualization (3.61) – encompasses business-critical applications, back-office and batch workloads, and development.
  • High-Performance Computing (3.61) – large numbers of servers and storage arrays, which together deliver high compute densities and aggregated throughput.
  • Analytics (3.66) – applies to all analytic applications that are packaged or provide business intelligence (BI) capabilities for a particular domain or business problem.

SolidFire received the second highest scores for the following use cases (out of 5):

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (3.56) – the practice of hosting a desktop operating system within a virtual machine (VM) running on a centralized server.


What does this mean for you?

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant and Critical Capabilities report are valuable tools for everyone analyzing all-flash arrays. Used together, these documents give customers a full understanding of the all-flash landscape, along with each vendor’s capabilities and viability.


Customers should review these reports to gain insight into which product will be a best fit for their specific needs and requirements. Gartner provides a comprehensive evaluation of each vendor’s performance, efficiency, scalability, reliability, manageability, and multi-tenancy capabilities, along with a review of the the vendor’s ecosystem of integrations and partnerships. Gartner also talks to thousands of customers every year, getting real-world feedback that plays a significant role in their final score.


So ask yourself this: If Gartner’s performance evaluations and customer reviews make an obvious case for one vendor over every other, shouldn’t you be considering their #1 solution?

Separating hype from substance

We believe SolidFire is well on its way to becoming the undisputed standard for all-flash arrays.


Over the last year, SolidFire has competed and won in some of the world’s most complex data center environments, uprooting the most sophisticated and deep-pocketed legacy incumbents around. We have seen customer after customer like FICO, Target, CenturyLink, and NTT leverage SolidFire as the transitional elements for their next generation data center — enabling greater agility, scale, and automation than ever before.


To the customers who have helped us achieve these ratings, I’d like to give a sincere thanks. We wouldn’t be here without tremendous partners in innovation like you.


And to customers wondering whether to add SolidFire to your shortlist of flash vendors: I hope these reports compel you to consider the impact SolidFire can have on your next generation data center and the applications that run in it.


Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Gartner Critical Capabilities for Solid-State Arrays, Valdis Filks, Joseph Unsworth, Arun Chandrasekaran, 25 June 2015

James Whitemore

James Whitemore is the Chief Marketing Officer at NetApp. He is responsible for advancing the company’s global marketing strategy and strengthening market recognition to accelerate growth.

As a veteran of the cloud computing, networking and storage industry, James has more than 25 years of experience leading and implementing successful global sales, product management and marketing strategies. A key part of the team since joining NetApp via the SolidFire acquisition in early 2016, James has been central to the development and execution of our Marketing strategy to reposition NetApp from storage to data and the cloud.

In his previous role as VP of Field & Demand Marketing at NetApp, James built and led a modern demand engine as well as managed Field and Partner Marketing, Demand Centers, Global Campaigns, Event Marketing, Digital Marketing, Social, Influence and Community Marketing.

As CMO at SolidFire, James led the mission to advance the way the world uses cloud and was responsible for all corporate, product, and field marketing functions. Prior to SolidFire, James has led sales and marketing functions in cloud orientated start-up companies holding a variety of sales and marketing positions in Europe, Asia and the U.S. with SAVVIS, Sun Microsystems, IBM, StorageTek and Standard Telephones and Cables.

James holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Northumbria University in the UK.

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