Eying enterprise demand for more agility, automation and scalability in cloud computing and Big Data, SolidFire is bringing new features to its all-flash storage system with the release this week of version 6 of the company's Element OS, as well as enhanced functionality for its storage arrays.

With a focus on what it calls the "Next Generation Data Center," SolidFire hopes to court additional enterprise customers by adding new features to its flash storage arrays, including:

  • Fibre Channel Connectivity, which deliver up to 16Gb performance, a significant boost from the 10Gb iSCSI connectivity that SolidFire previously offered (and will continue to provide as an option alongside the Fibre Channel solution).
  • Real-time replication for automatically copying data to remote locations, to provide better disaster recovery functionality.
  • Mixed-node storage support, which makes it possible to combine storage nodes of different sizes and types into a single storage cluster. That ability will help customers to "leverage the economics of the most current flash technology in the market while providing long term investment protection," according to the company.
  • Integrated backup and restore functionality for snapshotting and recovering data on SolidFire arrays without relying on third-party tools.

What's notable in this feature list is that none of the new functionality relates to flash storage specifically. In fact, Element OS 6 and the new features SolidFire is introducing with it seem to be about expanding the company's value offering beyond flash-based storage. Flash on its own provides performance and usability advantages, but SolidFire now appears focused on integrating those capabilities with other enterprise-class storage features to deliver a comprehensive storage offering that is about much more than flash alone.

All of the new functionality "will be generally available in Q2 2014," according to SolidFire.