December 12, 2018

10 Hot data center virtualization startups to watch

(Excerpt from Original Article in Network World. Entire Article can be read here: https://www.networkworld.com/article/3326298/data-center/10-hot-data-center-virtualization-startups-to-watch.html?nsdr=true )

Vexata

What they do: Provide NVMe Flash storage systems and data management software for hybrid cloud environments
Year founded: 2014

Funding: $54 million. Investors include Lightspeed Ventures, Intel CApital, Mayfield and Redline Capital.

Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.

CEO: Zahid Hussain, who was most recently SVP and GM of Flash Products at EMC
Problem they solve: Database, analytics and machine learning environments require large volumes of structured and unstructured data to be processed in real-time, but performance and I/O bottlenecks prevent these workloads from getting the horsepower they need. In almost all cases, Vexata contends, the bottleneck is a result of the storage-controller architecture, especially in all-flash arrays.  

At the same time, as multi-core compute performance increases, the number of virtual machines supported by hypervisors continues to grow, as well. This can translate to hundreds of VMs per data-center rack.
This type of traffic load can easily overwhelm all-flash storage infrastructures, because a single multi-core server can drive more throughput than most all-flash arrays (AFAs) can support. This forces architects to distribute, load and buy more AFAs than needed to scale performance.

Storage bottlenecks throttle system performance and slow response times, directly impacting the customer experience.

How they solve it: Vexata’s storage systems remove latency from the controller by separating the fast control plane from the slow data plane through its Vexata Operating System (VX-OS) software. Separating the data from control planes is a best practice that has been implemented in high-performance networking products for years.
 
By removing latency from the controller architecture, users get the full performance benefits from NVMe and storage-class memory solid-state media, which means AI, machine learning, real-time analytics, and other throttled workloads are now able to scale.  
The VX-Manager component provides visibility, management and analytics for the applications running on the system, as well as intelligent troubleshooting and root-cause analysis. 

Competitors include: Dell EMC, Pure Storage, HPE and NetApp

Customers include: Oath, Tata Consultancy, Pacific Data Center and Sanmina
Why they’re a hot startup to watch: Vexata emerged from stealth mode in 2017, backed by $54 million in VC funding and touting named customers with complex use cases, including Oath and Tata Consultancy.

In the past year, the startup launched a VMware-optimized version of its product and also attracted former Brocade and EMC executives to an already strong leadership team. CEO Zahid Hussain led the EMC team that acquired XtremIO and also headed the mid-range product line. Before that he was head of engineering at VMware ESX and VP of Engineering at Brocade. CTO Surya Varanasi led the ViPR engineering team at EMC.

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