Virtualization Technology News and Information
Q&A: Interview with ScaleXtreme, Talking Dynamic Server Assembly and the Cloud

This week, ScaleXtreme introduced Dynamic Server Assembly, a new product update that gives ScaleXtreme Xpress and ScaleXtreme Xpert users the ability to quickly create highly structured servers. With Dynamic Server Assembly, organizations will now be able to model, provision and launch servers with a variety of cloud computing providers.  I had the opportunity to speak with Nand Mulchandani, co-founder and CEO of ScaleXtreme, regarding the company's latest announcement.  Here is our conversation:  Give us an update on ScaleXtreme and the recently added Dynamic Server Assembly functionality to your product.

Nand Mulchandani:  ScaleXtreme has been focused on making ScaleXtreme Xpress and ScaleXtreme Xpert the most versatile and efficient server management products for our customers. With the plethora of cloud service providers and solutions to choose from, we find customers needing help on how to effectively implement, manage and provision the cloud systems across their organization.

That is why we have introduced Dynamic Server Assembly, an update that gives ScaleXtreme Xpress and Xpert users the ability to quickly create highly structured servers and architect them in a way that will ensure that they’re portable from one cloud provider to another.

This new technology enables IT professionals to create templates that allow customers to launch servers with a variety of cloud computing providers. These templates allow customers to model a server once and gives them a repeatable model to create and re-create these machines, on-demand, on different providers. This helps cut down time-consuming work involved in updating machines and cuts down errors by creating a standardized method of launching new servers.

In addition to Dynamic Server Assembly, we recently announced support for the emerging OpenStack standard and Citrix CloudStack giving customers the largest choice of cloud infrastructure that we can interoperate with.  Is Dynamic Server Assembly similar to any other capabilities available on the market today? If so, how is it different?

Mulchandani:  There are other, more-expensive products that permit customers to architect their virtual servers using templates. ScaleXtreme is different from the competition in two significant ways. First, our product goes way beyond just launching server drones. We can launch, manage, monitor, automate server scripts and simplify administrative jobs. Others fire and forget. We work with you each step of the way. Second, ScaleXtreme can control pre-existing servers, the type of machines that most businesses are currently running. We can manage them whether they’ve been standardized or run a diverse array of applications. The benefit is that customers with existing enterprise (private cloud) servers can also start using our products without having to rip and replace them.  How are people thinking about devising the optimal server architecture for the cloud?

Mulchandani:  Customers today are running infrastructure that is really just a single cloud – they are either using their internal VMware-based systems to run servers or from public cloud providers like EC2. We are starting to see some advanced customers federating multiple clouds together to build a larger “compute cloud” – using a single base cloud and having spillover or additional capacity that they augment their main cloud with. In these environments, products like ScaleXtreme become extremely important to manage all these clouds as one cloud, but customers also need to architect their servers in a way that enables this choice. One of the key important benefits of the cloud is “choice” – the choice to buy compute time and infrastructure from the provider that best matches your cost, SLA, security or other needs. To enable “choice” you have to make sure that you are not locked into a single provider or technology but are still agile in being able to use different cloud systems on demand. With Dynamic Server Assembly we’re giving customers the ability to architect their systems for the long-term.  How is your product cost-effective? And, what is its cost point compared to other solutions on the market?

Mulchandani:  ScaleXtreme Xpress is the industry’s first free, fully functional cloud-based systems management solution. It allows customers to manage an unlimited number of servers across private and public clouds. We believe that everyone should have access to systems management that is fast, simple and scalable. In our eyes, ScaleXtreme Xpress is the answer for those without a large IT team or a massive IT budget.  So if ScaleXtreme Xpress is free, how does it differ from the paid product ScaleXtreme Xpert?

Mulchandani:  Between ScaleXtreme Xpress and ScaleXtreme Xpert, a customer can do it all—manage all of their servers, monitor, store and share scripts, and connect to popular cloud providers including Amazon EC2, Bluelock, and Rackspace, as well as OpenStack- and vCloud-based cloud providers. Since ScaleXtreme Xpress is free, it allows customers to better gauge their needs for systems management, and we make it easy for them to scale up when needed to ScaleXtreme Xpert. The seamless and speedy process provides an efficient and cost-effective way for start-ups and enterprises alike to invest the time they used to spend managing the cloud on more profitable strategic projects.  What are the benefits and potential challenges of managing multiple cloud servers through a single unified view?

Mulchandani:  Being able to access all servers from one location makes it incredibly easy for a company of any size to monitor their servers. The time-saving and ease with which an administrator can seamlessly move between servers across different cloud providers, and automate tasks across all of them, makes a huge difference. One of the challenges, though, is the perceived risk of too much responsibility rested on a single administrator’s head. For customers with larger, more complex environments, we recommend ScaleXtreme Xpert: it includes robust multi-user, multi-role capabilities, and enables easier management of Access Control Lists, to ensure clean separation of duties.  What advice would you give companies planning to use systems management solutions to aid with their IT needs?

Mulchandani:  It’s no secret that companies, especially startups, need to spend wisely and prioritize their IT efforts. Cloud-based systems management can be very helpful in getting a technology-dependent business running smoothly. However, most products are costly, time-intensive and need manpower to support a fully functioning operation. We saw a real need for effective, easy-to-use server management tools, that could increase an IT professional’s power and free up their time.


Thanks again to Nand Mulchandani, co-founder and CEO of ScaleXtreme for speaking with

Published Friday, November 18, 2011 7:22 AM by David Marshall
There are no comments for this post.
To post a comment, you must be a registered user. Registration is free and easy! Sign up now!
<November 2011>