Cloud service providers face an ongoing race to gain a competitive edge by adopting new technologies and lowering infrastructure and operational costs. Hyper-convergence has introduced innovative ways to manage storage and compute for virtualized environments by eliminating the complexity of the traditional infrastructure.  

Hyper-converged products are delivered in two ways: as an appliance from a vendor, or as software-that can be installed and configured on industry-standard servers. Cloud service providers deploying hyper-converged appliances must consider the impact on their data center processes and infrastructure.

Hyper-converged appliances like those from Nutanx introduce major inflexibilities when vendors configure them as locked-in hardware. It can be difficult to adjust resources on demand to accommodate performance, latency, and capacity requirements: add bigger capacity disk drives or put drives in existing empty slots, improve latency by adding more memory, increase cache by adding more SSDs, support next-generation hardware. To accommodate growth, cloud service providers using locked-in, un-adjustable appliances must overprovision resources to meet customer requirements, thus increasing costs, including additional investment in software licenses, increased cooling and power, and additional data center space requirements. Appliances delivered on proprietary servers introduces operational difficulties such as learning new management tools, learning new deployment models, training staff on support and stocking proprietary hardware.

The software-centric model developed by Maxta enables cloud service providers to deploy hyper-convergence on any industry standard servers, to configure each server independently to meet both compute and storage requirements, and to scale storage by adding drives to existing servers or replacing lower-capacity drives with higher-capacity drives.

However, those who prefer a hardware approach can use Maxta’s MxSP software and commodity hardware to create open, flexible, customizable hyper-converged appliances. We have developed a variety of predefined and pre-validated solutions using the most popular products and platforms of our hardware partners. These are as easy to deploy as any appliance, yet offer all the upgradeability of a software-only approach.

So go ahead, cloud service providers: scale up, up, and away.