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MaxiScale scales out

Company's software-based storage cluster allows scalability into hundreds of petabytes

Storage Alert By Deni Connor, Network World
September 23, 2009 12:06 AM ET
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Developments of the week in storage

A new storage start-up entered the market on Monday with a virtually unlimited software-based cluster for Web-facing applications.

Nine data storage companies to watch

MaxiScale launched its FLEX Software Platform, which lets IT deploy industry standard servers, clustered with MaxiScale's software. The platform allows scaling of file servers and network-attached storage devices into a cluster that sits in front of Internet-facing applications.

The company has implemented what it calls the Peer Set architecture, which relies on small disk I/O file operations and a namespace that can grow to hundreds of petabytes.

The software can run on any x86-based server platform that is equipped with Serial ATA disks. Individual nodes are connected to each other with 1 Gigabit or 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Storage can be allocated in 1KB blocks and nodes can scale to 50,000.

The MaxiScale system is automatically self-healing as nodes are removed or added to the cluster. Nodes are managed with a single management console.

MaxiScale is claiming several customers. Among them are AdMob, a company that has served over 110 billion ad impressions in the last three years.

The company is funded by New Enterprise Associates and El Dorado Ventures, as well as by the Silicon Valley Bank for a total of $17.25 million. MaxiScale was founded in 2007 by Gianluca Rattazi, a founder of Meridian Data and BlueArc, and Francesco Lacapra, formerly of Quantum and BlueArc.

Pricing for the MaxiScale software is by the number of nodes. A four-node configuration with 32TB of capacity starts at 6,000.

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

Deni Connor is principal analyst for Storage Strategies NOW and host of both the Masters of Storage and Masters of Servers Solution Centers.

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