HTBASE hits big time with Dell EMC partnership around their composable infrastructure

HTBASE, a Toronto-area startup that is in the process of moving its main offices down to the Valley, has inked what for them is a huge statement of validation, partnering with Dell EMC.

Bruno Andrade, HTBASE’s Founder and CEO

HTBASE today announced a major new partnership with Dell EMC, which will see its enterprise-focused Maestro composable infrastructure platform sold with Dell EMC servers and storage hardware. The bundled appliances will be sold by Dell with ‘Powered by HTBASE’ branding.

For HTBASE, a two-year old Mississauga ON-based company which is in the process of moving its head office down to Sunnyvale in Silicon Valley, this is a deal of enormous consequence.

“We are incredibly excited about this agreement,” said Bruno Andrade, Founder and CEO of HTBASE. “In Silicon Valley, you see things progress in a certain manner as a young company grows. Coming out of Canada, having this kind of validation from a large and successful company like Dell EMC is just huge for us.”

HTBASE’s product – HTBASE Maestro – turns compute, storage and network into a fluid resource pool that is hardware-agnostic and can scale up and down as required. Both memory and storage capacity can be added without deploying new hardware. While that sounds like a hyper-converged platform, HTBASE uses the term composable computing, and Andrade said that there are several meaningful differences between Maestro and hyper-converged products.

“Unlike the hyper-converged vendors, we have been very focused on enterprise workloads such as Oracle databases from the very beginning,” Andrade said. “We have designed this to deliver bare metal and virtualized workloads with a very detailed quality of service per application, which allows you to scale up and down massively.”

Maestro is also differentiated by coming with its own hypervisor, OneCloud, out of the gate.

“Cloud consumption is another key differentiator for us,” Andrade said. “Our vision is an OS that isn’t dependent on any hardware or any cloud. That’s a different conception of composable computing from HPE Synergy – which at the end of the day is a huge rack. We didn’t initially want to do our own hypervisor. We thought the options in the market are good enough, both free and paid. But the hypervisor lets us build massive virtualization within the cloud, and can seamlessly move workloads between them, between the public cloud and the private cloud.”

This ability of Maestro and its OneCloud AI to move workloads to the lowest cost and best performing cloud – public or private – is a key differentiator that attracted Dell.

“It definitely strengthens the cloud aspect of the Dell hardware,” Andrade said. The automatic movement to the best performing cloud makes IT operations more efficient, and reduces costs.

“When we talked with Dell, it was clear that there was a requirement that this not be something that would compete with their VxRail, or their XC series with Nutanix,” Andrade added. “We are in the composable space, and Dell hasn’t had a platform to build composable before. We don’t compete with VxRail and XC, and can offer something that they cannot in terms of the cloud aspect and the ability to tap into the Dell servers and extract only what you want from there.”

HTBASE formally went to market in 2015, but at that point they were still finalizing product and getting a few reference customers on board. The product was ready for market in 2016. Previous to this deal, they have been going to market with a hybrid strategy, selling direct and also with a small reseller channel.

“We kept our channel small because we wanted to be strategic with our partners,” Andrade said. “Being a startup, we wanted to be able to get feedback from the clients. We are working on increasing the number of partners.”

Going forward, Andrade indicated that their go-to-market strategy may fluctuate, depending on the degree to which the Dell EMC deal meets HTBASE’s lofty expectations, as well as other opportunities.

“We may change our model depending on the traction this gets,” he said. “We have also been approached by other hardware vendors, with whom we would have perhaps the same model as with Dell, or a straight OEM relationship. We are also working with two of the three major cloud providers. There may be something coming up in next couple of months there as well, as we expand our composable model.”