VX-Cloud: Software to Enable High Performance, Hyper-Scale Data Access

Rick Walsworth

Today, Vexata announced the VX-Cloud Data Acceleration Platform to address an opportunity that has come directly from some of our largest service provider and enterprise customers as well as number of strategic partners. While VX-Cloud is the first standalone, software-only offering from Vexata, this is not a shift in strategy. This software project has been many years in the making and builds off of all the work that has been completed thus far. Decoupling the VX-OS software from the hardware platform enables Vexata to uniquely address a sizeable market opportunity for high-performance, hyper-scale systems.

Fundamentally, Vexata is and always will be a software company. Previous to VX-Cloud, Vexata has shipped petabytes of enterprise storage capacity via the VX-100 scalable NVMe array (appliance), but the VX-100 was always a high availability vehicle to deliver Vexata software for performance workloads and applications. Look no further than the portfolio of Vexata’s patents to understand where Vexata’s core intellectual property resides – firmly in software.

With this announcement, VX-Cloud expands the Vexata product family, offering a solution that is complementary to the VX-100 product line, opening up new strategic alliances and market segments, but doing so by building upon the success that Vexata has seen with the VX-100 products.

Doing this accomplishes several key strategic tasks:

  1. Provides an open hardware approach to deploying analytic and machine learning workloads requiring ultra-low latency, high performance data access
  2. Opens up strategic alliances with the leading platform vendors, building out design and reference architectures that run VX-OS in multiple reference architectures
  3. Offers a cloud consumption model that dynamically scales performance and capacity elastically, allowing the ability to grow the environment based purely on the demand.

VX-Cloud builds upon the field-proven capabilities and data management services that have made the VX-100 successful in high-performance environments, but when you look at the two approaches, there is great synergy. The VX-OS architecture is a 3 stage architecture as shown below:

The 6U VX-100 enclosure supports dual active-active I/O Controller (IOC) modules that accelerate I/O in the fast path, mapping I/O across a passive backplane supporting the aggregation of up to 16 Enterprise Storage Modules (ESMS), providing support for up to 64 NVMe SSDs (16ESMs supporting 4 drives per ESM). Using 8TB drives, this delivers 512TB of raw capacity, delivering over 70GB/s of throughput and over 7M IOPs. Because of the deterministic nature of VX-OS, the VX-100 appliance approach delivers very predictable, reliable performance in a rock-solid, fault tolerant system that maps very well to the needs of the enterprise.

VX-Cloud takes VX-OS software into an open hardware approach, using industry standard compute nodes to power data access. This open hardware architecture immediately enables architects to scale performance (acceleration) and capacity (aggregation) server nodes independently, providing a cost-effective way to seamlessly deliver dynamic, multi-tenant cloud workloads. This approach allows architects to build the infrastructure to meet the needs of the business by independently scaling performance by adding accelerator nodes and capacity by adding aggregation nodes. In this manner, a single 42RU enclosure can support well over 100GB/s of throughput and 16 petabytes of capacity.

The biggest impact delivered by VX-Cloud is the cost of the total solution, both when deployed on-premises or as part of a public cloud offering. The cost benefits that are realized at this scale are massive, especially when compared to public cloud. VX-Cloud is available to strategic partners now and will be generally available in mid-2019 through a number of reference designs, including with Partners Supermicro and Fujitsu.

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