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In this edition of our Gartner’s Magic Quadrants Series, we’re going to talk about the 2017 “biggest movers” in solid-state arrays, according to the most recent Gartner Magic Quadrant. If you haven’t had a chance to check out our other posts in the series, take some time to look at our Magic Quadrant analysis for ADC, EPP, Enterprise Network Firewalls, IaaSSIEM, WAF, IPS, and Integrated Systems.

In this post, we’re going to focus on SolidFire, now NetApp SolidFire, the biggest mover for 2017 in solid-state arrays.

SolidFire’s Start as a Visionary

In 2010, SolidFire was founded, offering all-flash storage products and systems to cloud service providers. After the company started selling its arrays to both private and public consumers in 2012, it quickly became the standard for customers who wanted to improve agility while experiencing predictable performance and automation from their data center storage devices

Gartner first recognized SolidFire in the “Visionaries” category in its “2014 Magic Quadrant for Solid-State Arrays” as the company demonstrated an in-depth understanding of where the market was going and what customers needed most from solid-state arrays. SolidFire was positioned just below Violin Memory and above Kaminario.

Gartner recognized SolidFire again in 2015 in its “Visionaries” quadrant in the Solid-State Arrays report as the company continued to excel in solving their customers’ greatest challenges surrounding performant data center storage solutions. SolidFire maintained its position by Kaminario, but this time the company moved up to just below the line defining the “Leaders” quadrant. This advancement reflected the company’s ability to increasingly deliver on their overall vision.

SolidFire and NetApp: Making the Move

In early 2016, NetApp, Inc., a leader in data storage solutions, acquired SolidFire and began the process of incorporating its products into the company’s Data Fabric strategy. Their end goal was to deliver seamless data management for their customers across flash, disk, and cloud resources. Today, more than half of NetApp’s new array sales are solid-state arrays, and the company’s All-Flash Fabric-Attached (AFF) Storage series has some of the most comprehensive features out of any arrays on the market.

In 2016, Gartner recognized NetApp in the “Leaders” category for solid-state arrays. This showed that not only was NetApp well positioned for the future and ready for any changes in the market that were to come, but the company was also able to fully execute against their vision. In 2016, NetApp was positioned below IBM and HPE.

In 2017, NetApp held its position as a leader in the SSA market. The company is positioned just below IBM and Hitachi Data Systems. NetApp is also positioned above Kaminario, who just entered the SSA Leaders quadrant this year.

Factors Supporting the Big Move

One of NetApp’s greatest advantages that has supported their big move from visionary to leader in the past few years is their solid-state array offering with features and guarantees that meet every customer need. In addition, NetApp also offers the SolidFire and AFF array features as a software-defined storage (SDS)-only offering, enabling customers to create large SSA infrastructures to scale.

Also helping NetApp’s continued rise in the Leaders quadrant is the company’s pricing flexibility. NetApp offers a variety of competitive purchase options that provide more flexibility in pricing and discounts for large existing customers that are making the move from disk arrays to solid-state arrays.

Looking to the Future

NetApp SolidFire’s ability to move from visionary to leader in just a few years is a testament to the company’s ability to anticipate the growing needs and challenges of its customers. As NetApp SolidFire continues to meet the demands of the market, we expect to see them rise up in the Leaders quadrant in the upcoming years.

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