Hyperconverged networking company Plexxi partnered with big data firm Decision Lab to embed real-time analytics into Plexxi’s platform. A single product integrating the companies’ technologies will be available in upcoming months, said Mat Mathews, co-founder and VP of product management at Plexxi.
“Customers want to have customized telemetry solutions, and we’re leveraging the experience Decision Lab has in that space,” Mathews said. “We are also working with them to turn that into a product offering. In the future, we will have some off-the-shelf capabilities that come as part of the Plexxi solution.”
A “very large cloud service provider” is currently beta testing the product, Mathews added.
Enterprises are using hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), which combines scalable compute, networking, and storage in a single system, to modernize their data centers. According to IDC, HCI will be a $6 billion opportunity by 2020 and is the fastest growing segment in the data center space.
“HCI is a good way to build a private cloud very efficiently and simply, and a lot of our customers are looking at building a private cloud with HCI,” Mathews said. “Our focus is on data center networking and building very converged networking systems that are easy to scale out.”
The company provides a data center network fabric that supports a modular approach and can scale out as needed. It integrates with VMware’s virtualization platform and Nutanix’s enterprise cloud platform.
The new partnership with Decision Lab, which integrates analytics onto Plexxi’s network fabric, will collect fabric data path and control path statistics. The software will then provide users with analytics dashboards that give insights into their data center network.
Enterprises can use this information to automate networking policies and configurations, Mathews said.
It sounds a lot like Cisco’s intent-based networking, which will initially automate some configuration and other tasks in the access network. But while Cisco just announced its new networking plans in June, Plexxi has been doing intent-based or affinity networking for six and a half years, Mathews said.
“A lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon,” he said. “But for us, we have a whole software stack. You tell it what you care about it, and it will turn that into the underlying networking policies and configurations.”
Providing real-time analytics will give companies greater network visibility, Mathews added.
“The great thing about intent-based networking: you can very easily tell the network what you want, when you know what you want. But that has always been the stumbling block because a lot of customers don’t have that information. We’re excited to now say you can actually see what’s going on in your network and automate how you turn that into a policy for an application or a new tenant.”
HCI Sector Moves
The HCI sector has seen a burst of recent activity with major announcements from several key players.
Earlier today Cisco announced plans to acquire hyperconverged software company Springpath for $320 million, bringing its HCI software stack in-house.
In an earnings call with investors last week, NetApp CEO George Kurian bragged that the company’s next-generation HCI system, based on SolidFire storage software, would leave Nutanix and VMware products in the dust.
According to IDC, HCI will be a $6 billion opportunity by 2020 and is the fastest growing segment in the data center space.