Project Mystic's Potential Competitors To VMware: Bring It On


Yoram Novick, CEO and founder of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based hyper-converged infrastructure software developer Maxta, said he has heard of Project Mystic, but declined to comment on anything VMware is doing in that area.

Novick, however, did say that traditional data center infrastructures that separate the server and storage make it increasingly difficult to tie storage into virtualized environments.

"There are issues with how storage works with virtual servers, how to expand capacity, how to manage change," he said. "Converged infrastructure addresses these issues."

Maxta  focuses exclusively on software and stays away from the hardware side, which Novick said makes it easy to match a solution to customer requirements. And unlike VMware's VSAN, Maxta's software addresses a wide range of data services, including native support of sub-second snapshots and sub-second cloning, he said.

"In a lot of ways we're happy VMware has announced VSAN," he said. "We have similar visions in the sense that both of us believe there needs to be a software-defined storage practice."

Converged infrastructure is the long-term solution for both on-premise and cloud storage, Novick said. "Today, the only solution is storage arrays, both on-premise and in the cloud," he said. "We believe the ability to run storage on industry-standard servers is important."

Olivier Thierry, chief marketing officer at Pivot3, an Austin, Texas-based developer of converged infrastructure solutions for virtual desktop infrastructures based on VMware Horizon and for video surveillance, also said he is aware of rumblings about Project Mystic.

Project Mystic is likely to be a hyper-converged infrastructure solution for general-purpose use, similar to what companies like SimpliVity offer, and not tuned to specific applications like Pivot3's vSTAC offering, Thierry said.

Because of Pivot3's ability to tune its offerings specifically for VDI and videosurveillance, Thierry said he does not expects to be heavily impacted by Project Mystic.

Indeed, Thierry said he lauds EMC for taking the risk of disrupting its existing business with a focus on software for converged infrastructure solutions.

"If you are going to lose your traditional SAN business, it's best to lose to yourself," he said. "The fact that EMC has these appliance form factors is good for them."

VMware declined to comment on the Project Mystic news.

EMC also declined to comment on Project Mystic.

However, Jeremy Burton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at EMC, told CRN in a previous conversation that the move to make storage intellectual property available as software gives solution providers more flexibility in building customer solutions.

"EMC is committed to delivering more of our IPs as software-only," Burton said. "We think more customers will want to buy software and hardware together as a system. That said, we provide more flexibility. We separate church and state, as it is."

PUBLISHED MARCH 13, 2014