December 7, 2017

Vexata Intends to Restore Breath to Applications

The battle around flash storage arrays has always revolved around performance. To distinguish itself from well-established competitors, the Vexata start-up relies on its software expertise to increase the responsiveness of applications.

Formerly of EMC and VMware, Zahid Hussain worked in the shadows for 3 years before unveiling Vexata’s high-performance flash storage solution. (Credit SL)


Live from San José –Founded in 2013 by Zahid Hussain and Surya Varanasi, former executives of EMC and VMware, the Vexata start-up enters the flash storage bay market, hoping to correct mistakes made by other players like Violin Memory. With its Active Data Fabric platform, the young company intends to offer a latency of less than 5 microseconds and the ability to manage up to 10 times more users per application. To achieve this goal, Vexata uses advanced hardware resources (NVMe SSDs provided by Intel, Samsung, Micron and Toshiba) but also a particularly neat VX-OS software part and optimized frameworks for the main publishers of the market. Note however that the deduplication and compression functions do not

The team took three years to refine their work. “The hardest part was to bring together the team that could design and design our architecture, develop our distributed system … We are entering our fourth year and we now want to focus on certain needs in companies: analytics, finance and technology. the machine learning “. explained the CEO of start-up Zahid Hussain.

Vexata has ensured the integration of its flash bay with the main publishers of the market.

Accelerate existing resources

The idea is not to come to the companies with a disruptive solution, but rather to look at what already exists to start improving things by connecting to the servers hosting Microsoft, Oracle, SAS or SAP applications thanks to a data framework layer to eradicate bottlenecks (see illustration below). It is even a question of approaching the requirements in real time, even if the traditional applications can evolve only to a certain point. That’s why SAP redesigned the architecture of its solutions with Hana. “Business demands for high performance in data processing – especially with large volumes of data – are only increasing to make better decisions,” said Ashish Gupta. CMO of Vexata. “I was the one who sold the million IOPS at Violin but at the time the market did not need it. Today, with parallel treatments, things have changed. ”

Up to 64 SSDs in the array, 180TB of storage without deduplication or compression.

Among the first customers, the company puts forward Tata Payroll Processing, NPCI (to accelerate the processing of commercial transactions in India), Pacific Disaster Center, AOL / Oath and Sanmina. Dan Pollack, Chief Architect Storage Operation at AOL / Oath, said the use of Vexata has avoided completely reorganizing storage facilities. Vexata has come in addition to increase performance and at a particularly interesting cost. It was an important point in the decision. “We did a lot of testing before going into production and the solution is really reliable. We are very satisfied with the results. We have been working on the subject for two years to both increase capacity and increase performance. ”

The benchmarks are flattering but it will be necessary to wait for independent tests to verify these statements.

Hard competition

In this market, Vexata comes up against well established companies such as Dell EMC, HPE and Pure Storage, which now enjoy a reputation and a wider distribution network. But also newcomers like E8 Storage. Vexata, however, relies on the singularity of its solution to make the difference. So far, the company has raised $ 54 million from investors, including Mayfield, Intel Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Redline Capital, in series A and B rounds. United and India, the next step will of course be through commercialization of the solution in Europe. Prices start at around $ 70,000 (SDD Sata or NVMe more expensive), cheaper than Oracle’s solutions, says the marketing manager of the company.


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