Cloud

SolidFire raises $25M to boost cloud provider agility and performance

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SolidFire, a solid-state storage provider for cloud services, has raised a new $25 million round of funding to help improve performance and reliability for emerging cloud providers, the company revealed Monday.

SolidFire sells powerful solid-state hard drives to cloud service providers, which in turn boost performance and reliability of said cloud services. Along with the hardware, SolidFire gives cloud providers tools that can help automate how they use storage systems, which creates a higher degree of management potential.

This round of funding was led by New Enterprise Associates with participation from Valhalla Partners and Novak Biddle Venture Partners. All three firms were previous investors in SolidFire’s first round of funding.

“We’ve architected this solution from the ground up, and we’re making it possible for companies to do cloud computing at a higher level,” Jay Prassl, SolidFire’s vice president of sales and marketing, told VentureBeat. “For us, we want to ensure performance, efficiency and management.”

SolidFire currently offers an Early Access program to cloud companies that are interested in its hardware and services. Companies that sign up for Early Access can get their hands on an SF3010 storage unit, eScanner tool and technical support for testing and integration.

“Just because you use solid-state drives doesn’t mean it’s the right solution for you,” Prassl said. “It’s about what you actually do with solid state. We want companies to be able to move quickly and guarantee a high level of service.”

Unlike also buzzy startup Pure Storage, which targets enterprises with its own solid-state storage solutions, SolidFire’s focus is on solid-state drives and solutions for cloud service providers across the SaaS, PaaS and IaaS spectrum. Prassl named EMC and 3PAR as the company’s biggest current competitors but said SolidFire’s ability to guarantee high levels of performance set it apart.

SolidFire declined to tell us any of its customers but said it was working with “some of the largest cloud companies in the world.” Prassl said that because its clients are in the Early Access program and still evaluating the product, it would be premature to name any names just yet.

The company a strong management force behind it. SolidFire is the brainchild of Dave Wright (pictured above), who previously founded JungleDisk and sold this company to Rackspace in 2008. Prior to JungleDisk, Wright served as Chief Architect for IGN and helped lead integration with Fox Interactive Media when IGN was purchased by NewsCorp in 2005. Another key player on its team is Director of Product Management Adam Carter, who previously led product management at the likes of HP, VMware and LeftHand Networks.

Boulder, Colo.-based SolidFire was founded in 2009 and currently has about 30 employees. It intends to expand its sales, marketing and technical teams in the next year. Including today’s big $25 million round, SolidFire’s total funding now sits at $37 million.

Check out Wright’s SolidFire video pitch below for more details: