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Maxta Inc. develops MaxDeploy, seeks hardware partners

Like VMware, Maxta wants to sell its software-only, hyper-converged storage platform integrated on standard industry hardware.

VMware isn't the only vendor planning to make its hyper-converged storage software available on integrated hardware platforms.

Maxta Inc. is taking steps to have its Maxta Storage Platform (MxSP) software packaged on commodity servers. The vendor has made the MaxDeploy Reference Architecture available to validate on x86-based servers and storage devices by Intel. MaxDeploy was developed to ensure MxSP is compatible with an end user's preferred storage hardware.

Like VMware's Virtual SAN (VSAN) Maxta's MxSP has been sold as a software-only platform. The MaxDeploy Reference Architecture hasn't received the attention of VMware's EVO: RAIL VSAN program, and Maxta has no partners signed on yet, but the concept is similar.

MxSP aggregates unused storage on standard servers and presents it to virtual machines as a resource pool under a single global namespace. Maxta's approach differs from rivals that sell hyper-converged storage systems directly on appliances, including Scale Computing, Nimboxx Inc., Nutanix and SimpliVity Inc. Hyper-converged appliances combine computing, networking and storage in a single box.

The MaxDeploy Reference Architecture serves as a guide for tailoring hardware and software configurations to an end user's workload. Maxta said it would not sell hardware devices directly to customers. The plan is for Maxta to collaborate with OEMs on validation testing, with Maxta partners handling sales and integration.

Maxta CEO Yoram Novick said MaxDeploy enables enterprises to sidestep compatibility issues and shorten deployment times.

"It's very clear that customers don't want to buy storage software and be their own integrators. They want to know exactly whether a hyper-converged system is verified for their specific infrastructure and the performance they expect. MaxDeploy gives them peace of mind that whatever components they purchase will work with our storage right out of the box," Novick said.

"We're not in the appliance or server business, but we figure a lot of customers would prefer to buy from our hardware partners," Novick added.

MaxDeploy said validation includes testing MxSP on server-side flash devices and magnetic disk drives to support a spectrum of cost and configuration options.

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Would you rather implement a software-only hyper-converged product with a reference architecture or on your own hardware?