SoftIron becomes storage manufacturing Wizard of Oz

Ceph-based integrated HW/SW array manufacturer SoftIron is setting up a manufacturing base in Australia.

The plant is based in Sydney and building will begin this month. It will enable SoftIron to supply locally-built arrays in the same way as it does in the USA. SoftIron was awarded a Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grant of $1.5 million from the Department of Defence to support the Department’s stated Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities. SoftIron’s facility is believed to mark the first time that component-level computer manufacturing has taken place on Australian soil.

SoftIron COO Jason Van der Schyff issued a statement saying: “By establishing our first ever factory on Australian soil, we will help further bolster Australia’s data infrastructure resilience by locally manufacturing our world-leading datacentre solutions. Our products will help our local customers deploy a credible, transparent and trusted alternative to public clouds that are based on imported, opaque hardware.”

SoftIron bezel.

The company strongly believes that by closely controlling the design and manufacturing of its arrays it can deliver a certified hardware supply chain and higher performance — claimed wire speed — and efficiency — not least power efficiency — than competing arrays based on commodity components and contract manufacturing. The certified hardware supply chain means it can provide auditable provenance for strategic markets.

In turn this will help customers gain transparency, resiliency, and achieve complete data sovereignty.

The overall idea is to set up global edge manufacturing capabilities. SoftIron is developing a digital twin in Berlin, Germany, mirroring each edge manufacturing location. This should enable analysis, planning and optimisation to take place at a global level while still delivering locally manufactured product capitalising on local skills and a local supply chain. 

Van der Schyff hammered this home by saying: “The global supply chain is quite complex, with major security gaps. The reality is that most datacentres don’t know if their appliances are secure since manufacturers tend to operate opaque processes. Our goal is to offer our customers in Australia complete transparency with a range of appliances that are true to their design. Nothing more, nothing less.”

SoftIron is unique. No other storage company, as far was we know, offers such auditable provenance in support of data sovereignty.