In a sign of the growing importance of high-performance storage for Big Data and the cloud, SolidFire, which provides solid-state disk (SSD) and other flash storage services, has announced a new round of series C funding. It has also introduced an expanded product line that it says will allow it to offer SSD storage for less than traditional performance disks, which could cause major ripples across the channel.

The product expansion includes the introduction of the SF9010, a high-density and high-performance storage platform consisting of 100 nodes delivering high-density and high-performance storage node. According to SolidFire, the SF9010 will be the world's "largest and fastest all-SSD storage system."

What's particularly interesting, though, is the pricing. At less than $3/GB and $1/IO, SolidFire says its SSD storage beats the rates for performance disks. It still isn't claiming to outprice commodity hardware, but even so, this could mark a tipping point, where switching to next-generation storage becomes a no-brainer in terms of both cost and performance.

Alongside the product expansion, SolidFire has also announced a $31 million C round of funding led by Samsung Ventures. That brings the company's total funding from all rounds to $68 million. The company says it will use most of the new investment to expand sales and marketing for all-flash storage in the enterprise.

In the wake of earlier moves this year that included a partnership with Red Hat (RHT), and increasing investment in SSD storage devices by hardware vendors including Intel (INTC), SolidFire's future—and the role of next-generation storage technologies in the cloud and Big Data infrastructure more broadly—appear bright.