The story of Nfina’s evolution is an interesting one. On a lighter note Mr. Nicholson, with a laugh, meekly recounts Mrs. Nicholson had her bible study friends praying for him to get out of the house and stop driving her crazy after the N-Tron sale. Therefore, one could say that Nfina was created out of prayer for hard work, and to use the talents given to him by the creator to create jobs and new products.
The company during its initial years provided cloud-based services such as web hosting and VoIP. The customers weren’t just happy, they were delighted when they found the services much faster than other providers. “Our hybrid storage model, but more importantly our caching technology was much ahead in its game which made our systems faster.” Today the company is a market recognized server and storage solutions provider with a diversified portfolio that ranges from thin clients costing a few hundred dollars to storage solutions that can cost up to half a million dollars.
Nfina offers two open off-the-shelf SAN products, the 700 series (24 bay, 3.5-inch drive unit) and the 800 series (48 bay, 2.5-inch drive unit). Both the models can plug-&-play with their storage expansion product called JBOD which is a 12 bay, 3.5-inch unit.
The firm’s products have recorded MTBF in excess of two million hours which make them some of the most reliable enterprise networking equipment in the market
While the technology in play is similar to what any other vendor would offer, there are five points that answer as to why someone should consider Nfina.
Every product that the company ships is free from any additional software—such as bloatware or adware—other than the bare essentials, the OS and required applications. This makes the Nfina Servers and Storage Solutions the most Cyber- Secure offerings, touting a score of zero for Nfina versus many for all other vendors, in terms of reported Homeland Security Vulnerabilities.
The storage products can plug-and-play with multiple leading platforms such as Windows, Linux and VMware. This software openness makes installing Nfina’s storage products into an existing system a job of just a few minutes, and an open-systems approach avoids one-vendor solutions lock-in.
The third point is something that is best described by the expression ‘spoilt for choice.’ The company can provide Hyperconverged solutions powered by vSAN or leverage its partnership with Open-E Jovian to create a Hyperconverged environment for storage on VMware or Windows Hyper-V. It also offers appliances for SAN and NAS solutions that are Linux-based, and Windows-based, as well as ZFS-based solutions.
"All the products come in compact form factors and are priced aggressively to the extent that establishes Nfina as a price-leader in terms of storage products"
The last two differentiators, as Nicholson’s effervescent cadence signifies, are special. The firm’s products have recorded MTBF in excess of two million hours, which make them some of the most reliable enterprise storage equipment in the market. And, the exceptional reliability comes along with a market-leading warranty of five years. This aspect contrasts with the fact that a three-year warranty with the option of paid fourth and fifth years is the current market paradigm. In addition to the standard warranty, customers can also go for “four-hour next day response or same day response.”
Further explaining his open “made in the USA” philosophy, Nicholson states that his firm doesn’t outsource assembling but builds every product it ships, as per customers’ desired software and hardware configurations at its Mobile (Alabama) facility. Upon arrival, every component undergoes rigorous quality checks, and every detail is logged to ensure that any problem in the future can be quickly and accurately resolved. Tech support and customer service are also located in Mobile.
To enhance its strengths in the storage product market, Nfina has been developing a software for its NAS portfolio along with a complementary hardware design. This Linux-based NAS solution is expected to hit the market in 2018. The company has been growing at an inspiring rate of approximately 400 percent annually, of which a large part can be ascribed to its zeal for innovation. In partnership with the University of South Alabama and the State of Alabama, Nfina has been co-developing a client-server monitoring software for storage and networking equipment for the last two years with plans to roll it out for beta-testing in 2018. The software will have predictive capabilities, an open architecture which will allow users to import third-party SNMP MIBs, and will be scalable to monitor mini data centers and larger cloud-based deployments alike.
With the volume of data bound to explode in the coming years, storage requirements of the world will grow exponentially. And, Nfina appears to be well positioned to satiate the data hunger of enterprises with all at its disposal.