By Kiran Sreenivasamurthy, Senior Director of Product Management, Maxta
For years, the basic design of data centers has remained in three distinct pillars. Servers have been running applications, storage arrays have been storing and protecting data, and networks have been providing communications both inside and outside the firewall.
However, the vast improvements of both chip speed and multi-core design by Intel in the last 10 years have opened the gateway to machine virtualization or software-defined computing—a common practice in almost every data center today. No longer are applications tied to any physical machine—but instead run virtually on a shared pool of compute resources.
Now that compute virtualization has become the new standard, the next generation of datacenter design is to apply the same software-defined concept to the other two pillars (storage and networking) of the traditional data center. As a result, the datacenter will no longer be defined by the hardware of individual servers, storage arrays, switches, and gateways. This fully software-defined infrastructure enables compute, storage, and networking to run on any standard x86 servers backed by the latest and greatest Intel technology.
As a key component within the software-defined infrastructure, hyper-convergence not only enables compute and storage to run on your choice of standard x86 servers but also empowers compute and storage to run on the same server platform without compromising functionality. The ability to run on the same platform facilitates the management of storage with the same constructs as virtual machines (“VM-centric”). VM-centric storage allows users to easily assign storage to VMs without having to worry about volumes, logical unit numbers (LUNs), or storage networking, thereby simplifying IT management and increasing IT agility.
With all of the above claimed benefits of the software-defined approach, one must first take a step back and evaluate if the current flurry of hyper-convergence is just hype. Are enterprises and businesses across the globe really adopting this new approach? According to research conducted by ActualTech Media in its 2015 State of Hyper-converged Infrastructure Market survey of 500 tech professionals over small, mid-market, and large enterprises—they found only 24% of them had already adopted a hyper-converged solution. However, the same survey also showed 41% of large enterprises saying they expect to implement a hyper-converged solution in the next two to three years. Additionally, other firms such as Market Realist and Gartner predict that enterprise software-defined storage revenue will surpass traditional enterprise storage by 2021.
Given this significant market trend, let’s take a moment to further examine why hyper-convergence could be the right choice for your datacenter. Similar to any solution, knowing what you are looking for in a hyper-converged solution is critical because you should experience significant benefits over your traditional storage solution. Hyper-converged solutions should contain the following features, functions, and benefits as key criteria.
- Works on any x86 server
- Ability to support next generation hardware
- VM-centric data services such as snapshots and clones
- Single pane of glass for VM and data management
- Scale-out and scale-up
- Scale compute and storage independently
- Data availability and data integrity
- Metro-cluster support
While many hyper-converged solutions will meet some or most of these criteria, Maxta satisfies all of them. In addition to providing the ability to support any standard x86 servers, Maxta also recognizes that it is critical to support next generation hardware at day 0. In keeping pace with the latest innovations in datacenter technology, Maxta is proud to announce that it has worked together with Intel to provide day 0 support for the next generation Intel® Xeon® Processor E5 v4 family processor, which has been made generally available today (03/31/2016). Maxta’s ability to seamlessly and non-disruptively upgrade from the previous generation CPU to the Intel® Xeon® Processor E5 v4 family allows you to take advantage of higher VM density and improved performance starting today. So what are you waiting for?
Maxta maximizes the promise of hyper-convergence. MaxDeploy Appliances and MxSP software solutions provide companies the choice to hyper-converge on any x86 server, the ability to run on any compute abstraction layer, and the flexibility to support any combination of storage devices eliminating the need for complex and expensive storage arrays. The simplicity of Maxta’s VM-centric solutions reduce IT management and lowers cost, all while delivering hyper-scale, enterprise-level data services and capacity optimization. With Maxta, service providers and enterprise customers can build private and public clouds based on any cloud orchestration software. Think outside the storage box. For more information, visit http://www.maxta.com.