Maxta Maximizes Hyper-Converged Infrastructure On Cisco UCS Metro Clusters

Maxta this month said it became the first to have its hyper-converged infrastructure software solution certified to run on Cisco UCS C-Series servers and support metro cluster environments.

Maxta, which offers a software-only version of its technology for integrating on customers' servers, as well as works with other vendors to develop reference architecture, converges the compute part of a data center infrastructure into a single platform, said Yoram Novick, CEO of the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company.

The company's latest reference architecture, with Cisco UCS C-Series rack-mount servers, is the first hyper-converged infrastructure solution to support all enterprise-class functions, including metro clustering on Cisco UCS, Novick told CRN.

[Related: Solution Providers: VMware EVO: RAIL Great First Software-Defined Solution]

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Metro clustering, also known as stretch clustering, allows servers within a cluster to be connected over two or more different locations.

"Maxta is maximizing the promise of hyper-convergence," Novick said.

With metro clustering, no server or data center failure will cause a loss of data, Novick said. "It extends the ability to replicate data and do disaster recovery across multiple data centers," he said.

The solution, which has been validated by Cisco, is available to Cisco partners to deploy, Novick said. It is also available via the Cisco website, but Cisco is not reselling the software, he said.

The minimum configuration for the new Cisco-validated Maxta MaxDeploy includes three Cisco UCS C240 M3 servers each with dual-socket Intel E5-2620 processors, 32 GB of memory, four 1-TB hard drives and one 200-GB SSD. Also required is VMware vSphere Essentials and the Maxta software. Total cost with a year of support starts at $39,000, Novick said. "Most vendors start at around $50,000 for a similar configuration," he said.

The Maxta solution, which previously was validated with Intel and Supermicro hardware, is as of this month also validated for HP ProLiant SL2500 servers, he said.

Having metro clustering capability with hyper-converged infrastructure solutions based on Cisco UCS is an important new capability, said Bob Cox, CEO of Nothing But Net, a Phoenix-based MSP and provider of private cloud services and a partner to both Cisco and Maxta.

"It offers us more agility and flexibility," Cox told CRN. "Our engineers are excited about it, especially the increased scalability."

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Cox said Nothing But Net started working with Maxta about six months ago because of that company's focus on hyper-converged infrastructure technology. "We looked at working with larger vendors getting into this space," he said. "But I prefer to work with companies that have this as a core offering."

Cox also said he likes Maxta's plans to develop technology for OpenStack, the cloud platform on which part of Nothing But Net's private cloud service is built. "That's very exciting," he said.

Brian Corn, vice president of marketing and product development at ThinkMate, a Waltham, Mass.-based commercial white box server builder, said his company likes the differentiation offered by Maxta's software compared to the latest solution to generate market buzz, VMware's EVO: RAIL hyper-converged infrastructure software.

Corn told CRN that his company has built hyper-converged infrastructure solutions using EVO: RAIL and Maxta on Supermicro hardware.

"We've seen performance gains in rebuilds and scaling with Maxta vs. EVO: RAIL," he said. "Maxta also allows us to de-couple compute and storage. We can grow out compute without growing storage, or vice versa."