Maxta was founded by
experienced entrepreneur Yoram Novick
who previously founded Topio,
a provider of platform-agnostic enterprise-level data replication solutions and
served as Topio CEO from its inception until it was acquired by
Maxta has raised $10 million from Andreessen
Horowitz, a top
venture capital firm
that provides seed, venture and growth-stage funding to the best new technology
Editor's comments:- November 2013 -
Maxta - which recently
emerged from stealth mode - is in the enterprise
SSD software market
and SSD ASAPs (hybrid)
When it comes to what
Maxta's product enables you to do (by virtualizing commodity servers with
internal SSDs and HDDs into meta-scalable apps servers with globally enhanced
characteristics) their competors include some hardware companies and software
companies - depending at which level the customer wishes to engage with in the
I'm tentatively puting these "competitor"
companies on the list as providing some elements of technology which are
similar to what Maxta offers. - But be aware that there are significant
differences in some cases too.
It was a pleasure talking to you earlier today. I enjoyed our
conversation. Thanks for your great questions and feedback.
Although I am not 100% objective, I more than agree with you that
Maxta is one of the 1 to 5 per cent of storage software companies which are
different and offer sustainable value.
Novick, founder Maxta
- email to the editor (November 7, 2013)|
|"The decades old
architectures of SAN and NAS, originally devised for the physical world, are
still the dominant enterprise deployment architectures and are not particularly
well suited for the virtual world. These architectures are still based on the
notion of a storage box or storage array... The constructs used for
storage abstraction, such as LUNs, volumes, files, etc., do not align well with
virtual machine constructs."|
storage is broken! - blog by
|Here are some more SSD articles|
inside the box - explores the many exciting new directions in rackmount
to the fortunes of SSD - why are so many companies piling into the SSD
market - when even the leading enterprise companies haven't demonstrated
sustainable business models yet?
Where are we now
with SSD software? - (And how did we get into this mess?)
7 tips to
survive and thrive in enterprise SSD - In SSDs - rules are made to be
meet Ken - and the
enterprise SSD software event horizon - what will happen as SSD utilization
rates in the enterprise get better? - Consequences for SSD vendors and HDD
|Maxta joins the elite set
of enterprise contenders who are vying to own the next generation
|Editor:- November 13, 2013 - This week Maxta completed its
staged emergence from stealth mode and
its first product - the Maxta Storage
Platform - a hypervisor-agnostic software platform for repurposing arrays
of standard servers (populated with cheap standard
SATA SSDs and
hard drives) into
scalable enterprise class apps servers in which the global CPU and storage
assets become available as an easily managed meta resource with optimized
performance, cost and resilience.|
Editor's comments:- I spoke
last week to Yoram
Novick about this new product, his company and what customers have been
doing with it.
Before you dip into my bullet points below - here's a
header note of orientation.
We've all seen new companies launching
SSD software and pitching for the enterprise with products which are little
more than spruced up versions of "hello SSD world!"
year later - some essential compatibility features get added, and later still
some degree of better or worse
It didn't used to matter much if everything wasn't in place at the start - or
if these new companies didn't have sustainable business plans - because there
was an appetite for acquiring
From my perspective I'd say that many companies have
regarded the launch of their SSD software is simply an invitation to attract
users who could provide the market knowledge they needed to flesh out the
In these important respects Maxta is different because:-
prior to this week's product launch they've already had a group of 10 or so
advanced customers in different industries who have been using the product and
also the enterprise features - like manage-ability, scalability, resilience and
data integrity are already in the product today.
Maxta's technology and
business architects have done enterprise storage software before - as you can
see from their linkedin
bios. Yoram told me that he and
Amar Rao (Maxta's VP of
Business Development ) used to compete with each other in earlier storage
startups and the companies which had acquired them.
So it soon became
clear to me in the details I saw and asked about (not all of which are listed
here) that a lot of careful planning and up front thinking and problem solving
has already guided the "launch".
Here's some of what I
- market scope
MxSP is the software glue for enabling easily managed
SSD enhanced storage
pools in VM environments which scale from the ROBO upto
base level configuration which provides HA features starts as low as 3 nodes.
This is attractive for enterprises with remote offices because it's a small
footprint. But it's also attractive from a running cost point of view too -
Yoram said because of the special low price point for associated software.
has a customer who started with these 3 node configurations for remote offices
but liked them so much that their bigger arrays are now built mostly from
arrays of 3 too.
- the problem it solves
The evolution of enterprise CPU and storage
resources have followed different tracks in the past decade - leaving users in
the position today where it's easy and economic to deploy more CPUs but
relatively awkward, expensive or error prone to map these CPU resources into
virtual storage which scales with the same ease and which takes advantage of
the low cost and high performance of commodity enterprise SSDs.
- the storage pool
Maxta's architecture aggregates the SSDs and HDDs
in the server pool into a single globally accessible, fault tolerant SSD
accelerated virtual storage pool.
Within Maxta's software - all the
SSDs are collected together as 1 super SSD resource and another big resource
is created from the HDDs.
Internally Maxta's software knows that SATA
SSDs and SATA HDDs have different personalities for example:-
- HDDs have low cost per unit of capacity but slow random read latency
- SSDs have fast random read, and fast sequential write
every node in the array has to have an SSD or HDD inside but it's not sensible
to have a system which doesn't have any SSDs at all.
- fault tolerance, data integrity, VM snapshots, cloning etc
they're all in the product now.
- software? - it's a virtual world view
Everything about MxSP is
virtual. And it doesn't require new management tools. The operational aspects
will clarify in customer case studies and white papers.
- Maxta's business plan
I told Yoram how disillusioned I had become
about the sustainability and viability of new storage software companies -
given my experience of having tracked over 1,000 storage companies and
terminating the list of
gone-away and acquired companies in a single decade at the 500 company
level. (That's before I started the gone-away SSD companies list BTW - which is
well on its way to 100.)
Jaundiced by that experience it seems to me
that over 95% of storage software startups don't have much of a clue about how
to translate their IP assets into any sustainable business value and are mostly
founded at the outset with the fervent desire that before the VC and IPO
money run out - they will get acquired. So I asked him if Maxta would be any
different to that?
Yoram told me some of what Maxta has been doing in
laying the foundations for growing the business to become a significant storage
platform (in his words) a significant software company like Microsoft or
I won't say more here because this is too long already -
despite having not even mentioned most of the notes I made during our
Looking back on this nearly a week later (and having seen
some of their documents before) I'm left with the impression that maybe indeed
Yoram is right and his company could become not only one of the rare storage
software companies which are sustainable as a business. But going further than
that - maybe too it has the makings of a company which could be one of the
five to ten companies which will dominate the SSD software platform market of
Who are the other contenders?
I've given you
lists before - but this list is evolving because 4 of the 10 companies were
still in stealth mode last time I did that.
If you're interested in
the SSD enhanced storage platform idea (and who wouldn't be) then another good
place to look is the list of competitors which I've compiled in
Maxta's profile page.