A young custom server and hyper-converged infrastructure appliance builder with deep ties to Microsoft this week unveiled new models in a series of appliances this week.
Argon Systems' new line of hyper-converged infrastructure appliances includes three models based on Microsoft's Storage Spaces Direct, the software-defined storage option included with Windows Server 2016 Data Center edition.
They include the Argon Systems Server 3000 with an all-NVMe storage configuration for maximum performance; the Server 5000 high-performance, high-capacity offering for applications like SQL Server; and the Server 6000 with large capacity for mixed applications, Jim Reekes, product manager for the San Jose, Calif.-based company, told CRN.
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Argon, founded in 2015, has a history of working with Microsoft on such offerings as an Intel Rack Scale Design infrastructure for Microsoft Azure Stack, Reekes said. Argon Founder Robert Keith received 40 patents related to cloud technologies, most of which were acquired by Microsoft, Reekes said.
Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct allows the development of a low-cost hyper-converged infrastructure offering when compared to most hyper-converged infrastructure appliances, he said.
"You get everything offered by other vendors and then some," he said. "You just need the servers and Windows Server 2016. In the data center, most people probably already run Windows Server 2016 with VMware. If you can run Windows Server on bare metal, you don't need to pay for VMware. And you can run Linux, containers, and storage solutions on top of Windows Server 2016."
Configuring Storage Spaces Direct for use as a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance is not necessarily easy, Reekes said. For instance, he compiled a list of features of Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct which, when printed, fitted about 20 pages.
All of Argon Systems' offerings are based on Supermicro or Hewlett Packard Enterprise servers, Reekes said. "Everything we sell is Microsoft-certified," he said.
Argon Systems does nearly all its business via channel partners including MSPs and IT consultants, he said.
One of those channel partners, Pleasanton, Calif.-based Headlands Associates, likes the Argon Systems Storage Spaces Direct-based offering in part because of its simplicity and in part because of its big cost advantage.