Maxta Announces MxIQ

Maxta recently announced MxIQ. I had the opportunity to speak to Barry Phillips (Chief Marketing Officer) and Kiran Sreenivasamurthy (VP, Product Management) and thought I’d share some information from the announcement here. It’s been a while since I’ve covered Maxta, and you can read my previous thoughts on them here.


Introducing MxIQ

MxIQ is Maxta’s support and analytics solution and it focuses on four key aspects:

  • Proactive support through data analytics;
  • Preemptive recommendation engine;
  • Forecast capacity and performance trends; and
  • Resource planning assistance.

Historical data trends for capacity and performance are available, as well as metadata concerning cluster configuration, licensing information, VM inventory and logs.


MxIQ is a server – client solution and the server component is currently hosted by Maxta in AWS. This can be decoupled from AWS and hosted in a private DC environment if customers don’t want their data sitting in AWS. The downside of this is that Maxta won’t have visibility into the environment, and you’ll lose a lot of the advantages of aggregated support data and analytics.

[image courtesy of Maxta]

There is a client component that runs on every node in the cluster in the customer site. Note that one agent in each cluster is active, with the other agents communicate with the active agent. From a security perspective, you only need to configure an outbound connection, as the server responds to client requests, but doesn’t initiate communications with the client. This may change in the future as Maxta adds increased functionality to the solution.

From a heartbeat perspective, the agent talks to the server every minute or so. If, for some reason, it doesn’t check in, a support ticket is automatically opened.

[image courtesy of Maxta]


There are three privilege levels that are available with the MxIQ solution.

  • Customer
  • Partner
  • Admin

Note that the Admin (Maxta support) needs to be approved by the customer.

[image courtesy of Maxta]

The dashboard provides an easy to consume overview of what’s going on with managed Maxta clusters, and you can tell at a glance if there are any problems or areas of concern.

[image courtesy of Maxta]



I asked the Maxta team if they thought this kind of solution would result in more work for support staff as there’s potentially more information coming in and more support calls being generated. Their opinion was that, as more and more activities were automated, the workload would decrease. Additionally, logs are collected every four hours. This saves Maxta support staff time chasing environmental information after the first call is logged. I also asked whether the issue resolution was automated. Maxta said it wasn’t right now, as it’s still early days for the product, but that’s the direction it’s heading in.

The type of solution that Maxta are delivering here is nothing new in the marketplace, but that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable for Maxta and their customers. I’m a big fan of adding automated support and monitoring to infrastructure environments. It makes it easier for the vendor to gather information about how their product is being used, and it provides the ability for them to be proactive, and super responsive, to customer issues as the arise.

From what I can gather from my conversation with the Maxta team, it seems like there’s a lot of additional functionality they’ll be looking to add to the product as it matures. The real value of the solution will increase over time as customers contribute more and more telemetry data and support to the environment. This will obviously improve Maxta’s ability to respond quickly to support issues, and, potentially, give them enough information to avoid some of the more common problems in the first place. Finally, the capacity planning feature will no doubt prove invaluable as customers continue to struggle with growth in their infrastructure environments. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this product evolves over time.

Maxta Introduces “Freemium” Hyperconverged Solution


This is a really quick post while it’s still in my head. I stopped by the Maxta booth at VMworld recently. I haven’t spoken to Maxta since I saw them at SFD7, so I was curious to hear about what they were up to. They told me about their “freemium” MxSP software license they were releasing soon.


As I understand it (and please someone correct me if I’m wrong), it’s limited to 3 nodes and 24TB of capacity, but you’ll be able to upgrade Free MxSP licenses non-disruptively to a premium license when you’re ready to go head on. You can read the press release here and sign up for the license here (note that there are some geographic restrictions on this).

Storage Field Day 7 – Wrap-up and Link-o-rama

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.

This is a quick post to say thanks once again to Stephen, Claire and the presenters at Storage Field Day 7. I had a great time, learnt a lot, and didn’t get much sleep. For easy reference, here’s a list of the posts I did covering the event (not necessarily in chronological order).

Storage Field Day – I’ll be at SFD7

Storage Field Day 7 – Day 0

Storage Field Day 7 – Day 1 – Catalogic Software

Storage Field Day 7 – Day 1 – Kaminario

Storage Field Day 7 – Day 1 – Primary Data

Storage Field Day 7 – Day 2 – VMware

Storage Field Day 7 – Day 2 – Connected Data

Storage Field Day 7 – Day 2 – Springpath

Storage Field Day 7 – Day 3 – Cloudian

Storage Field Day 7 – Day 3 – Exablox

Storage Field Day 7 – Day 3 – Maxta

Storage Field Day 7 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

Also, here’s a number of links to posts by my fellow delegates. They’re all switched-on people, and you’d do well to check out what they’re writing about. I’ll try and update this list as more posts are published. But if it gets stale, the SFD7 landing page has updated links.


Ray Lucchesi

Data virtualization surfaces

Transporter, a private Dropbox in a tower

Object store and hybrid clouds at Cloudian


Enrico Signoretti

It’s storage showtime! #SFD7

Storage Field Day 7, links and live stream

When looking good is no longer enough

File Transporter, private Sync&Share made easy

Thinking different about storage

Rumors, strategies and facts about Hyper-converged


Mark May

I’m going to Storage Field Day 7!

It’s almost time! #SFD7 is next week!

Day 0 of SFD7 – Yankee Gift Swap and delegate dinner

Goodbye to Storage Field Day 7

Storage Field Day 7 – Primary Data


Christopher Kusek

I’ll be attending Storage Field Day 7 – Now with Clear Containers!


Jon Klaus

Storage Field Day 7, here I come!

Storage Field Day 7 is about to start!

Storage Field Day 7 – Catalogic ECX reducing copy data sprawl

Storage Field Day 7 – Exablox OneBlox: scale-out NAS for SME


Vipin V.K

It’s Storage Field Day again…! – #SFD7


Keith Townsend

Kaminario – Storage Field Day 7 Preview

Maxta – Storage Field Day 7 Preview

Primary Data – Storage Field Day 7

Springpath – Storage Field Day 7 Preview

Transporter – Storage Field Day 7 Preview

VMware – Storage Field Day 7 Preview

Exablox – Storage Field Day 7 Preview

Cloudian – Storage Field Day 7 Preview

Catalogic Software – Storage Field Day 7 Preview

CopyData yeah… Long live Data Virtualization

Hyperconverged vendor Maxta announces SDN partnership


Chris M Evans

Storage Field Day 7 – 11-13 March 2015

Storage Field Day 7 – Initial Thoughts

SFD7 – Catalogic Software Addresses Data Copy Management

SFD7 – Connected Data, Transporter and Private “Cloud” Storage

SFD7 – Primary Data and Data Virtualisation


Arjan Timmerman

The Storage Field Day 7 Delegates

Software Defined Dockerized Springpath HALO at #SFD7


Finally, thanks again to Stephen, Claire (and Tom in absentia). It was a great few days and I really valued the opportunity I was given to attend.


Storage Field Day 7 – Day 3 – Maxta

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.


Company Overview

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:

  • Choice;
  • Simplicity;
  • Scalability; and
  • Cost.

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:

  • Interoperability;
  • 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:

  • Flexibility
    • DIY – your choice in hardware
    • Works with existing infrastructure – no forklift upgrades
  • Full-featured
    • 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 Services

  • Data integrity
  • Data protection / snapshots / clones
  • High availability
  • Capacity optimisation (thin / deduplication / compression)
  • Linear scalability


  • VM-centric
  • 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.


Storage Field Day 7 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

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.

My full disclosure post will be nowhere near as epic as Justin’s, although he is my role model for this type of thing. Here are my notes on gifts, etc, that I received as a delegate at Storage Field Day 7. I’m going to do this in chronological order, as that was the easiest way for me to take notes during the week. While every delegate’s situation is different, I’d also like to clarify that I took 3 days of vacation time and 2 days of training / work time to be at this event.


I travelled BNE -> SYD -> SFO. A period of time passed and I consumed plane “food”. This was included in the price of the ticket. Alcoholic beverages were not, but I stuck with water. United (economy class) is all about the destination, not the journey.


On Tuesday night we had the delegate dinner at Dasaprakash Indian Restaurant. They specialise in Southern Indian Cuisine and you can check out their menu here. I had a bit of everything, and two cokes. I think one was diet. They may have been trying to tell me something. As part of the gift exchange I received a beautiful home-made jewellery set from Claire. Let’s be clear that this is for my wife, not me. I also had one Dos Equis at the hotel bar after dinner. [edit: Keith also pointed out that Claire gave us all  a care pack of various American snacks, including some cookies and “diet” beverages].


At Kaminario’s presentation on Wednesday morning I was given a pen and USB portable battery. Primary Data gave me a portable whiteboard, notepad and tiny little briefcase (useful for storing business cards in). The SFD networking event was held at BowlMor in Cupertino. I had a variety of snack food (including those tiny hamburgers) and a Stella Artois. Manish Apte from SanDisk gave me a 16GB USB stick at the networking event on Wednesday night as well.


Thursday morning we had a continental breakfast at VMware. I had a coffee and a doughnut. They also gave us a Captain VSAN t-shirt. Connected Data provided us with a Greek lunch. They also very kindly provided each delegate with a Transporter 1TB private cloud appliance (worth approximately $249 US RRP), and a 4GB Drobo USB stick. SpringPath gave us a  pen, a sticker, a travel mug, and a USB car charger.

For dinner on Thursday we went to Billy Berk’s. I had a mix of starters and the Mojito Skirt Steak as a main. I also had 3 Stella Artois beers. We then went and watched “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” at the Camera 12  Downtown in San Jose. Tech Field Day covered everything, including the bottle of water and Reese’s Pieces. Here’s a picture.



On Friday we had breakfast at the hotel. Cloudian provided me with a leather folio and pen. Exablox gave me a great espresso courtesy of Sean Derrington. Exablox also provided lunch in the form of a gourmet sandwich and Lays crisps from Specialty’s Cafe. It was great. Maxta gave us a wooden Maxta Jenga box and a pen / 2GB USB drive. We then had drinks and snacks (happy hour) at Maxta afterwards. I had two bottles of water and a whole bunch of prawns (shrimp). Tech Field Day then made sure I got to SFO safely.


I’d like to extend my thanks once again to the Storage Field Day organisers and the companies presenting at the event. I had a great time. Since I can’t think of a good way to wrap up this post I’ll leave you with a photo.


Storage Field Day 7 – Day 0

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.

This is a quick post to let you know about my first day at Storage Field Day 7. I don’t want to make it a travel blog by any means, but I thought a few touristy snaps from a grainy smartphone were in order.

Here’s a shot of the wing. Of a plane. I took it from BNE to SYD.


They don’t give you a lot of room on United in cattle class. But it’s more about the destination than the journey, and somebody else paid for my ticket.


Still, I got to travel through time, leaving BNE at 10:00 on Saturday 7th and arriving at SFO at 09:15 on Saturday 7th. I literally never get tired of that joke. So I got to spend some time with a friend in the Bay Area prior to catching up with my SFD7 comrades. We did a bunch of stuff, including checking out the Chinese New Year celebrations in SF on Saturday night.


Tuesday evening we all got together and headed to Dasaprakash for some “Fine South Indian Cuisine”. It was different to the Indian fare I normally have in Australia, and made for a nice change.

Anyway, enough with the holiday snaps. I just wanted to thank Stephen and Claire for having me back, making sure everything is running according to plan and for just being really very decent people. Look out for some posts related to the Tech Field Day sessions in the next few weeks. And if you’re in a useful timezone, check out the live streams from the event here.