Feeds

Integrated storage hardware is DEAD, software firm says

It's the food and the service that count, not the plates

Application security programs and practises

VMworld Nexenta, the ZFS-based storage software company, is successfully avoiding becoming a storage hardware supplier - although that could make life easier. But it believes hardware storage companies are doomed in the long run.

The future is open storage software running in servers that abstracts and commoditises storage hardware. The future is apparently not storage hardware-based suppliers; especially not startups like Pure Storage, who have "the wrong model" according to Nexenta sales VP Jonathan Ash.

Ash said at a briefing in VMWorld Barcelona that Nexenta had just closed its third quarter, "our best quarter ever," and added many new customers, like the CIA and the FBI. The company is sharing a stand with STEC, with Ash saying: "80 per cent of our customers use SSDs and STEC has great ZeusIOPS SSDS."

He added that Nexenta works with Intel and OCZ too in the SSD area, emphasising that Nexenta is hardware-independent.

Nexenta's partners building all-SSD appliances can do 1.1 and 1.2 million IOPS, Ash said. "We can outdo Pure; we're both faster and cheaper. … Commodity hardware plus Nexenta software beats Pure."

He said Nexenta hadn't raised a ton of money, like Pure and other storage hardware startups, although it did raise $21 million a while ago: "because we're very capital-efficient."

Could Nexenta be a hardware supplier?

"Yes, it would make it much easier," says Ash, as the company has to have a ton of different suppliers' hardware in its labs for certification. "[But] If we did we'd be the same as Pure and I don't see any benefit in that … We believe the ability to move from one hardware vendor to another is good; it's our differentiator."

An all-flash storage hardware vendor like Pure could well say that it gets better performance, reliability and longevity from its flash than software suppliers using third-party SSDs can. Ash would simply reply that partner kit using Nexenta software is faster and cheaper than Pure so …?

Anyway, "Pure is trying to make another EMC. It's the wrong model."

Nexenta, it says, needs hardware suppliers as resellers and OEMs; it just doesn't want to be one. Biz dev veep Jim Fitzgerald said that Nexenta goes to the market with SGI and Dell for example.

Ash chimed in: "We've just done a 3PB deal with Dell in Japan."

The relationship with Dell, both men claimed, is getting stronger - even as Dell extends its NAS head strategy to add NAS access to its Compellent arrays.

Fitzgerald told reporters that Nexenta is working with Cisco on a fully integrated stack with VMware. In this, Nexenta software runs as a VM, a virtual storage appliance on a UCS blade, using its SSDs, and writes back to a C Series server with 100TB of disk. There is a VMware View deployment tool involved as well, cutting 150 View steps down to a few clicks.

What's clear is that Nexenta is growing fast on the basis of its partners being able to build systems using its software with commodity hardware that can be faster and cheaper than offerings from EMC, NetApp, Pure and Whiptail to name just a few. Other customers perceive that as risky and are very happy buying the integrated systems.

Like DataCore, Nexenta is a surviving, prospering and growing software supplier with - it would say - a best of breed product, and you can't knock success.

Whether it's right to say storage hardware companies will fall away is another matter. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.