In this episode, Darren’s guest, Greg Campbell, CTO of Verge.io, discusses how his company has created software-defined data centers that can run any workload, anywhere, simplifying IT and making it easy and efficient to use the private cloud.
Greg started coding on the Commodore 64 when he was a kid and had never quit. He has worked on everything from 3D gaming engines to communications to database engines, web servers, and encryption. He developed interoperable communications software and hardware solutions for first responders after problems surfaced during 9/11. For example, police couldn’t talk to the fire department because everyone was on different systems.
After a successful exit from that company, he started a new company to build a vertical search engine from scratch. He quickly realized the hard part was not the search engine or algorithms but infrastructure issues. He found that too much of the code was specific to hardware, and an abstraction layer was missing. This was the basis for what became Yottabyte, his company that started off solving the storage problem by putting together inexpensive drives and presenting it as a simplified platform for which you could write software without having to worry about what was under the hood. His vision then expanded to include computing, memory, and networking. Yottabyte recently became Verge.io.
Verge.io's success is that everything was developed from scratch, even designing their programming language and writing their database engines so the software would do everything. It is not tied to any specific piece of hardware. The goal was simplicity: it’s not just a bunch of pieces stitched together to make a singular private cloud but an entire virtualized data center.
This lends reliability and security, as there are, for example, seamless updates, no dependency on specific hardware, and fewer vulnerable entry points. In addition, the target users of the system are IT generalists, not SAN experts or programmers.
The Verge.io platform gives the same experience that a customer might get from a public cloud: simplicity, self-service, and agility, but it has a considerable cost and a data gravity benefit. You are paying for things like IOP or egress with a public cloud. Many little prices start to add up, and you can become accountable to the ecosystem. Conversely, you can run Verge.io software, for example, on bare metal servers for cost savings and the ability to scale up or down quickly. In a public cloud, you also give up a lot of control. With a private cloud, you keep your data closer to where it is being generated and can operate efficiently at the edge.
Part of the reason service providers choose Verge.io is that they can manage their customers’ workloads without giving up the cost margin and reducing complications of moving them to the public cloud.
Other customers’ needs are met because they can accomplish things that are very difficult to do with other software. For example, the University of Michigan has found vastly improved efficiency and ease of use. They have thousands of researchers, and when they get grant money, they need an environment that is HIPAA or CUI compliant. Before, every request required six to nine months to get the hardware deployed, installed, and certified. Verge.io has built an environment, and getting up and running is as simple as hitting a button. The user is handed a virtual enclave that is fully compliant and very secure because the enclave is encapsulated and isolated.
Another benefit is that Verge.io’s snapshotting has built-in business continuity and disaster recovery. You can pick up the snapshot and move it to completely different hardware architecture, and it will work the same. The way the snapshotting works allows for a clone copy, even if it’s ten petabytes, in under 30 milliseconds.
Because the data center can now easily migrate to clouds or a colocation center, business owners have a lot more flexibility in negotiating the price and performance of hardware. In addition, there is no downtime for hardware upgrades or refresh cycles. The system never shuts down.
One of the following areas for Verge.io is expanding into building out multi-cloud aggregation software with benefits such as a centralized management pane.
Notices and Disclaimers
Intel® technologies may require enabled hardware, software, or service activation.
No product or component can be absolutely secure.
Your costs and results may vary.
Intel does not control or audit third-party data. You should consult other sources to evaluate accuracy.