Q&A: What the new NetApp plus SolidFire combo means for storage buyers

As buyout closes, SolidFire's CEO outlines integration strategy, explains how merged companies will help IT build true cloud-scale infrastructure

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This week, storage giant NetApp completed its buyout of SolidFire, one of the most successful early entrants in the flash storage market. In this installment of the IDG CEO Interview Series, SolidFire CEO Dave Wright talked with Chief Content Officer John Gallant about what drove the NetApp deal and what customers of the two companies can expect in the months ahead.

Wright, who will continue to lead SolidFire within NetApp, makes clear that flash is not some alternative storage technology any longer -- it's the primary storage option for cloud providers and enterprises as well. What differentiates SolidFire, according to Wright, is its ability to help customers build true scale-out infrastructure that solves the big problems IT is facing -- and that is only strengthened by the addition of NetApp's product portfolio. Wright also talked about customer successes and what lies ahead for the remaining members of the flash-only startup class of the past few years. (Spoiler alert: tough sledding).

Dave, let's start off with a little history of SolidFire. What did you guys try to tackle and how did you position yourself in the market when you launched in 2010?

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