Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 7. My flights, accommodation and other expenses were paid for by Tech Field Day. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event. Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.
For each of the presentations I attended at SFD7, there are a few things I want to include in the post. Firstly, you can see video footage of the Maxta presentation here. You can also download my raw notes from the presentation here. Finally, here’s a link to the Maxta website that covers some of what they presented.
Yoram Novick, CEO of Maxta, took us through a little of the company’s history and an overview of the products they offer.
Founded 2009, Maxta “maximises the promise of hyper-convergence” through:
- Scalability; and
They currently offer a buzzword-compliant storage platform via their MxSP product, while producing hyper-converged appliances via the MaxDeploy platform. They’re funded by Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital, and Tenaya Capital amongst others and are seeking to “[a]lign the storage construct with the abstraction layer”. They do this through:
- Dramatically simplified management;
- “World class” VM-level data services;
- Eliminating storage arrays and storage networking; and
- Leveraging flash / disk and capacity optimization.
MaxDeploy is Maxta’s Hyper-Converged Appliance, running on a combination of preconfigured servers and Maxta software. Maxta suggest you can go from zero to running VMs in 15 minutes. They offer peace of mind through:
- Ease of ordering and deployment; and
- Predictability of performance.
MxSP is Maxta’s Software-Defined Storage product. Not surprisingly, it is software only, and offered via a perpetual license or via subscription. Like a number of SDS products, the benefits are as follows:
- DIY – your choice in hardware
- Works with existing infrastructure – no forklift upgrades
- Enterprise class data services
- Support latest and greatest technologies
- Customised configuration for users
- Major server vendors supported
- Proposed configuration validated
- Fulfilled by partners
The Maxta Architecture is built around the following key features:
- Data integrity
- Data protection / snapshots / clones
- High availability
- Capacity optimisation (thin / deduplication / compression)
- Linear scalability
- Tight integration with orchestration software / tools
- Policy based management
- Multi-hypervisor support (VMware, KVM, OpenStack integration)
What’s the value proposition?
- Maximise choice – any server, hypervisor, storage, workload
- Maximise IT simplicity – manage VMs, not storage
- Maximise Cost Savings – standard components and capacity optimisation
- Provide high levels of data resiliency, availability and protection
I get the impression that Maxta thought a bit about data layout, with the following points being critical to the story:
- Cluster-wide capacity balancing
- Favours placement of new data on new / under-utilised disks / nodes
- Periodic rebalancing across disks / nodes
- Proactive data relocation
Closing Thoughts and Further Reading
I like Maxta’s story. I like the two-pronged approach they’ve taken with their product set, and appreciate the level of thought they’ve put into their architecture. I have no idea how much this stuff costs, so can’t say whether it represents good value or no, but on the basis of the presentation I saw I certainly think they’re worth looking at if you’re looking to get into either mega-converged appliances or buzzword-storage platforms. You should also check out Keith’s preview blog post on Maxta here, while Cormac did a great write-up late last year that is well worth checking out.