May 22, 2013
Looking through a computer parts catalog the other day as I contemplated building a new PC for myself, I was shocked by how affordable solid state drives (SSD) have become. The channel seems to be noticing, too, and not just in the DIY-PC market. SSD is also becoming increasingly popular in the cloud, and providers are working hard to pitch it to cloud users—as SolidFire, for instance, has started doing in discussions around Citrix (CTXS) CloudPlatform powered by Apache CloudStack.
When I last built a PC, just a couple of years ago, SSD disks large enough to store all of my data were just too pricey. As much as I would have liked the faster I/O, longer lifespan and lower energy use of SSD storage, I couldn't fit it into my budget.
Fast forward to the present, though, and SSD devices—although still significantly more expensive than traditional hard disks—are within reach for many more consumers, whether they're individuals or enterprises. And the trends suggest that they will grow yet more affordable going forward.
That's good news for vendors such as SolidFire, which focuses on delivering SSD storage for cloud hosts. And perhaps seeing a watershed moment in SSD deployment, the company is moving this week to pitch SSD solutions aggressively to users of Citrix CloudPlatform, the popular cloud environment based on Apache CloudStack.
Representatives of the company will be demonstrating SSD integration into the Citrix cloud platform today at the Citrix Synergy event in Los Angeles. They've also released a statement detaling their plans for SSD and Citrix going forward:
Through SolidFire's integration with Citrix CloudPlatform, customers can provision and manage volumes on their SolidFire storage infrastructure through the CloudPlatform management console. Granular Quality-of-Service settings for these volumes can be automatically assigned by leveraging the SolidFire APIs. In the next CloudPlatform release, this functionality will be accessible natively through the SolidFire developed storage plug-in for both CloudPlatform and CloudStack.
The pitch focuses on "quality of service," which SSD is better positioned to deliver effectively than the storage systems that many clouds run today. And although pricing is not a core part of the SolidFire/Citrix discussion at the moment, that may change as SSD affordability increases. Now may be the time for most enterprises to start thinking about moving toward what seems certain to become the cloud storage platform of the future, if they haven't already.
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