Kaleao Set To Strong-ARM Hyper-converged Market

Startup hyper-converged infrastructure technology developer Kaleao Monday entered the market with an ARM processor-based architecture it claims offers greater scalability and density while using less power and costing less than competing options.

Its new-to-market KMAX architecture integrates compute, storage, and networking via a software stack that brings virtual machines closer to the physical resources than typical offerings which run virtual machines in software, said Viovanbattista Mattiussi, principle marketing manager for the Cambridge, U.K.-based company.

Kaleao, whose North American operations are run out of Charlotte, N.C., is basing the KMAX on ARM rather than Intel processors because some unique benefits ARM offers, Mattiussi told CRN.

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"ARM processors provide increased freedom and openness," he said. "The Intel architecture has more constraints. But we're not locked into ARM. We can go with Intel if we want."

Kaleao does not use the normal route of running a layer of virtualization on bare metal with the hypervisor which injects latency into the architecture, Mattiussi said.

Instead, Kaleao uses what Mattiussi termed "physicalization," or physical virtualization, which brings virtual machines closer to the appliance's hardware than software-based hypervisors, he said.

"We use a 'microvisor,' which manages resource allocation," he said. "This allows sharing of compute, storage, and networking resources as needed. As a result, when a virtual machine requires physical resources, it is very close to the bare metal. This increases performance, increases density, and reduces cost, but keeps the flexibility of hyper-converged infrastructure."

Kaleao is coming to market with two solutions. The first is the KMAX appliance which combines Kaleao's ARM processor-based server hardware with the company's software-defined compute, storage, and networking capabilities; its microvisor, multi-tenancy, and full management capabilities.

The company's KMAX appliance roadmap includes portable, ruggedized, and liquid-cooled models targeting military, defense, and similar uses.

Kaleao is also offering the server as a stand-alone solution for customers looking for an open architecture in such target markets as content delivery networks, hyper-scale data centers, cloud services, and high performance computing, Mattiussi said. "It's an open platform that lets systems integrators add their own capabilities," he said.

The KMAX platform features 64-bit ARM processors, and can be configured with up to 1,536 CPU cores, 370 TBs of all-flash storage, and 960 Gbits per second in a 3U rackspace.

Network Allies is looking forward to getting its first KMAX appliance this month, said Jim Reinhold, CEO of the North Andover, Mass.-based solution provider and systems integrator.

"We see applications for the cloud and for data center customers looking to cut energy costs while increasing their compute density," Reinhold told CRN.

Network Allies signed with Kaleao because the solution provider has customers who do not always require off-the-shelf capabilities, Reinhold said.

"With HPE and other hyper-converged infrastructure providers, the solutions are aimed in 80 percent or 90 percent of cases at off-the-shelf solutions," he said. "Kaleao is different. We can use the company's technology to focus on applications optimized for specific customers."

Greg Nicoloso, general manager and chief marketing officer for Kaleao, said the company started seeding the market for its KMAX appliance starting late last year with a list of 800 prospects including 50 to 60 active negotiations.

Nicoloso told CRN that the company expects 90 percent of its sales to be in the U.S. market with a combination of direct and indirect sales.