Stealthy – well, sort-of stealthy – storage upstart Maxta aims to converge compute and storage in a virtual server world by harnessing commodity servers' direct-attached storage to create a pool of storage available to virtual machines running in the host servers. It aims to drop a hybrid vSAN bomb, complete with VM-level …
Lots of competition here.
VMware has a vSAN...sort of. it's nice to see they finally got AHCI support added in, (you know, because it's really not all that important and blame the user if they don't buy according to the HCL. Or you know, can't afford to buy according to the HCL. Or happen to think that bog standard industry interfaces that are built into fucking everything should be supported. Little things.) Despite this, the attitude presented to the hoi polloi by those in charge has left me with the square root of negative zero warm fuzzies on their ability to give bent fucks about "things used by companies that aren't the top 20%". At the moment, I'm really not predicting a huge uptake. By the time VMware pull their finger out, they'll be fighting an uphill battle against entrenched players, even with their "built in market" of ESXi license holders.
HP has Lefhand, and Lefthand is good. Unfortunately, it's priced out of the SMB space and there is a general feeling of neglect to the product. Few announcements, little rah-rah and less discussion of uptake. That sucks, because it's actually quite awesome.
Nutanix and Simplivity can simply choose tomorrow to turn their offerings into software-only vSANs as well. Nutnaix has a massively evangelical user base, many of the top minds in the field and an established presence around the world. They are full steam ahead, support multiple hypervisors and show no signs of slowing down.
Simplivity have focused on their backup and dedup tech. They view themselves less as a private cloud enabler and more as a storage play. They've got good tech, great people and a fighting chance amongst the morass.
Whichever of these companies you feel is likely to win - and for whatever reason - the addition of Maxta to the mix can only be excellent for end users. More choice, more competition, more pressure to innovate, differentiate, diversify and push the boundaries of software defined storage.
About goddamned time.
Excellent rant, Trevor. There's one very welcome addition to the storage arena that the new vendors seem to be bringing as well, and it has to do with the answer to the question "How can you tell when a storage vendor is lying to you?" Even more recent startups like Nimble and Violin seemed to be following the old guard that way, but my dealings with some of the companies on your list have been refreshingly honest and forthright.
We like it
We have done extensive testing with Maxta and really like it. It does everything they say. They need to improve scaling at a cluster level for larger environments, but they seem confident it is coming soon.
We have looked at Nutanix. Maxta gives you the same value prop with commodity servers and some MLCs and SATA drives at a significantly lower cost. It is uber easy to manage as well. We have historically shied away, er ran, from recommending VSAs. Maxta is the first we have moved forward with.
Even though they are in stealth I have already recommended it to a few clients. One has already purchased the sw.
Having had a lot of problems with freshly uncloaking startups I would prefer to wait and see. Nutanix is a pretty mature product in it's 3.5 incarnation of the OS now and it isn't gonna slow down anytime soon.
For Enterprises the idea of a 1 stop shop vendor support that won't blame other components in your inventory is compelling. Nutanix will not only cover Arista switches if bought with the solution but will also own VMware issues that arise when running on the kit (with your support contract of course); so should you have an issue it's just a case of picking up the phone and hollering a Picard-esque "Make it so!"
Try all that with your Dell kit, Maxta software, VMware hypervisor and SuperMicro 10G switches ;)
Having said that it won't stop me testing Maxta for SME converged cluster proposals....
Re: I'll wait...
Problem is, Nutanix won't sell me software. They want to sell me the stack and that's bloody expensive. More capital than I have to hand. That makes Maxta interesting.
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