The new feature, which is free in this initial release, will deliver the biggest benefit to larger enterprises, but will also be attractive to smaller companies at the edge, as well as to MSPs.
Bristol U.K-based StorMagic has announced the immediate availability of a new SaaS tool, StorMagic Edge Control, that lets users easily monitor and manage all of their SvSAN clusters around the world. SvSAN customers with multiple locations, who previously had to manage them one at a time, can now eliminate all this manual work and significantly reduce the time spent managing their edge sites. EdgeControl 1.0 is free and becomes a part of SvSAN, although going forward there will be paid modules available as well.
“Edge Control is designed to help customers more easily monitor and manage all of their SvSan installations,” said Bruce Kornfeld, chief marketing and product officer at StorMagic. “The tool that they have been using has been around for a while, which is ‘one by one by one’. The customer logs in to each instance, and gets a spreadsheet with a list of IP addresses and the name and location of the server – and logs into each individually. This eliminates the need to do all that manual work. You can see the whole world from one screen.”
Kornfeld said that while Edge Control will deliver the greatest value to enterprise customers, it is not aimed entirely at them.
“It’s certainly valuable for larger customers with hundreds and thousands of sites to manage,” he stated. “But we are also finding that there’s a lot of churn in the industry right now, and a lot of interest in exploring alternative hypervisors. Another good use for Edge Control is for customers in a VMware environment today who are considering moving, especially to HyperV. There is a lot of interest from partners.”
This interest comes from more than the FUD that VMware competitors are circulating about changes to VMware’s pricing model and channel strategy after the acquisition by Broadcom is finalized.
“Let’s leave Broadcom out, as if that deal was not happening,” Kornfeld said. “The fact is that the VMware business model for the edge doesn’t work. It’s too expensive. The market that we are targeting wants something that is much less expensive, in terms of both the software and the amount of infrastructure needed. vSAN was designed for the data centre, for which it is very well suited, but the whole edge community is just starting to take off now, and many of those customers can’t afford a VMware hypervisor at the edge. So these customers are looking at Hyper-V and Linux KVM. Broadcom is just another FUD factor here.
“Hyper-V customers don’t have the equivalent of the vCenter plug-in, and have been using an archaic email notification system, so this is a big deal for them,” Kornfeld added.
Kornfeld said that the greater simplicity that Edge Control brings is especially attractive to smaller customers.
“We have talked to some of our smaller customers with two or three sites, and they are excited about this as well,” he noted. “Right now, the world of managing the edge is complicated. We aren’t solving all edge management problems with Edge Control, but we do make HCI at the edge a little easier. There’s just one virtual machine they have to install anywhere on their network, so it takes little to get it up, and the benefit is quite huge.”
Kornfeld said Edge Control is also extremely valuable for MSPs.
“They have great control to more easily manage and monitor all of their customers,” he stressed.
Kornfeld also said changes being prompted by the rise of AI will make Edge Control even more valuable.
“While there are real business problems that AI solves, AI also plays into our hands,” he indicated. “There aren’t too many providers like us who say ‘run what you want.’ We are so flexible they can rip and replace their hardware and not spend any more money on StorMagic because their license applies on the new hardware.” He cited an example where they were not even three years in with a large customer, and the customer decided that they had to run analytics in all their stores because of AI. The StorMagic part of the transition was easy and inexpensive for them.
Edge Control version 1.0 is available today from StorMagic. SvSAN customers can download and begin using the software immediately, free of charge.
“We are giving this 1.0 version for free, but we have a road map for the future, where we will add modules that will be chargeable and will generate incremental revenue for partners,” Kornfeld said. “This will also enable partners to have even more seamless transactions with end users, and simplifies deployment and management so they can spend less time on deployments and do more deals.”