Maxta Exits Stealth With Software Solution Tying Virtualized Environments To Clustered Storage

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The Maxta MxSP handles compression and deduplication very well, and it offers fast data snapshots, Sequel Data Systems' Thomsen said. "VMware slows down when you take one snapshot," he said. "With Maxta, we can do dozens or hundreds of snapshots very fast. And the snapshots use links instead of adding capacity. With VMware, a lot of capacity is required for snapshots."

It also sets up very quickly, Thomsen said. "Buy a server, add VMware, turn on Maxta, and you have a strong value proposition at a much lower cost."

Thomsen said VMware's upcoming Virtual SAN, or VSAN, also interfaces virtual machines to a server's storage, but not in as elegant a fashion as the Maxta MxSP.

"VMware VSAN validates what Maxta is doing," he said. "But VMware VSAN doesn't have all the feature of MxSP. For protecting applications, Maxta is probably the better solution. Also, how does VMware's decision to offer VSAN impact its relationship with its parent company, EMC, which is trying to sell storage? VMware probably will not go too much further in the near-term or mid-term because of its EMC relationship."

Traditional enterprise-class storage was designed for physical infrastructures, but server virtualization was designed for virtualized infrastructures, Maxta's Novick said. For instance, he said, it is hard to know which virtual machines are connected to which storage devices. IT administrators have to deal with different interfaces for storage and virtual machines, which adds to the complexity, he said.

"Maxta redefines enterprise storage or virtualized data centers rather than following SAN and NAS constraints," he said. "It simplifies IT by letting customers manage virtual machines, not the storage, while providing a full enterprise storage solution including replication, cloning, continuous data protection and more."

The target market for the Maxta MxSP includes both enterprise and SMB applications, Novick said. For enterprises, it can be used to replace arrays in branch or remote office installations, as well as for test and development, disaster recovery, and virtual desktop infrastructures, he said. SMB customers can use it for primary storage, he said.

Maxta's initial sales are typically done direct to customers but fulfilled via channel partners, Novick said. The company is moving to get sales to be channel-led. Eventually, the company also hopes to build an OEM channel, he said.


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