NetApp, Inc. today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire SolidFire, a startup that made an all-flash storage hardware, for $870 million in cash. The deal, which is still subject to closing conditions, is expected to close in Netapp’s fourth quarter of its fiscal year 2016. 

The deal will give NetApp access to one of the pioneering startups in the highly lucrative all-flash storage array business. The timing is great for the company, NetApp is currently in the process of rebuilding it storage business that has been declining over the past few years.    

Founded in 2010 and based in Boulder, Colorado, privately-held SolidFire is a market leader in all-flash storage systems built for the next-generation data center, and  an active leader in the cloud community with extensive integrated storage management capabilities with OpenStack, VMware, and other cloud frameworks. SolidFire\’s investors include New Enterprise Associates, Novak Biddle Venture Partners, Samsung Ventures, and Valhalla Partners. The company’s market competitors include Kaminario, Tegile and Mountain View-based Pure Storage, which went public in October 2015. SolidFire has secured a $82 million funding round in October 2014. 

George Kurian, CEO of NetApp, said in a statement: “This acquisition will benefit current and future customers looking to gain the benefits of webscale cloud providers for their own data centers”, and also added this: “SolidFire combines the performance and economics of all-flash storage with a webscale architecture that radically simplifies data center operations and enables rapid deployments of new applications. We look forward to extending NetApp’s flash leadership with the SolidFire team, products and partner ecosystem, and to accelerating flash adoption through NetApp’s large partner and customer base.”

Dave Wright, CEO of SoplidFirfe, said in a statement: “Both SolidFire and NetApp have deep technical, customer-centric cultures, which are focused on delivering innovations that give customers a competitive advantage”, and also added this: “We look forward to enhancing NetApp’s position within the all-flash array market while helping NetApp and SolidFire customers and partners succeed.”

Following the acquisition, SolidFire products will be folded into NetApp’s data fabric strategy, delivering seamless data management across flash, disk and cloud resources. SolidFire CEO Dave Wright will lead the SolidFire business within NetApp’s product operation. 

Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, NetApp Inc., formerly Network Appliance Inc., is a leading data storage and data management company. The company received venture capital funding from Sequoia Capital in 1994. It made its initial public offering in 1995. 

NetApp is major player in the data storage device market. In 2009, it ranked second in market capitalization in the data storage industry behind market leader EMC Corporation. And in 2010 IDC report, it ranked third in the network storage industry, behind market leader EMC and IBM and ahead of IT giants HP and Dell. 

Image credit: SiliconAngle