Portsmouth company leads way on new server technology

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By Paul Briand

Posted Nov. 22, 2015 at 3:15 AM

PORTSMOUTH – Typically, data centers are characterized by dedicated rooms with special power and cooling needs, racks of servers and other components piled to the ceiling, raised floors covering a mass of cable and wire connections.

No more.

With the emergence of so-called “hyper converged solutions,” a company’s technical infrastructure needs are shrinking, and a Portsmouth company is leading the charge in the introduction of the new technology.

“It’s a game-changing technology,” said Peter Estes, president of Axis Business Solutions at 57 Green St. in downtown Portsmouth.

Axis has teamed with SimpliVity, based in Westborough, Massachusetts, to provide OmniCube, which the company describes as a single-source component that “assimilates eight to 12 core data center functions.”

For example, when an Axis client {a prestigious Liberal Arts College in New England} installed SimpliVity, according to Joe Paquet, Axis Vice President of Alliance and Development, three of the new devices replaced 30 other IT devices, resulting in the need for less electricity, less space and less cooling and providing greater speed and efficiency.

“Our hyper converged technology from Axis has significantly improved our data center,” said Axis client. “Prior to working with Axis, we had enormous racks of physical hardware, which were cumbersome, expensive and inefficient. Now, we’ve dramatically reduced the size of our equipment, creating a leaner, more efficient system that will save us time, money and hassle. This new data architecture expertly addresses our performance, capacity, mobility, protection and management issues.”

Paquet likens the new OmniCube to a smartphone – a single device that consolidates a lot of older, separate technologies.

“Think of the way that technology has evolved, transitioning from huge mainframes to mobile devices that fit in your pocket,” Paquet said. “Hyper converged technology has similarly evolved the world of data centers, which have historically been enormous racks of equipment with point products serving single functions. Now, the physical hardware can be dramatically condensed to an appliance form factor. Backup, data recovery and the movement of data and virtual workloads can all be achieved through a single global interface.”

Axis (http://axisbusiness.com/) is a technology services company that represents a wide range of vendors offering a wide range of services and products to its customers.

“CEOs want to drive revenue and control cost,” Estes said. Meanwhile, he added, “IT departments are being asked to do more with less money.”

Axis assesses a customer’s needs – whether it’s related to professional services (such as IT management), technical services (telcom, for example), and/or emerging technologies – and offers solutions tailored not only to the business’s needs but also its budget.

“Axis is an innovator and thought leader in the hyper converged space,” Estes said. “We have designed and installed more solutions than anyone else in the region. We have a full suite of hyper convergence solutions and SimpliVity is a compelling offering within that suite.”

No one solution is a good fit for everyone, according to Estes.

“With some companies, OmniClube is a slam dunk, with some it’s not,” he said. “We’ve been incredibly successful deploying it into the market.”

The OmniCube measures 3.43 inches high, 17.5 inches wide, and 28.5 inches deep. Its ability to process so many functions comes not only from improved hardware components versus legacy servers but with a proprietary accelerator card that manages and speeds workload functions.

A lot of technology’s attention these days is focused on the Cloud, by which data storage and access to software and applications is almost completely off site, reachable through online or network connections to remote, so-called “Cloud” servers.

That’s a solution, according to Paquet, for some businesses. But he noted, “Today, it’s still not the be all, end all.”

“It’s critically important that someone interested in hyper convergence go to someone who specializes in it,” he said. “It’s scary if you’re not working with the right group.”

Added Paquet: “We offer a wide range of hyper convergence solutions.”

Another Axis client and OmniCube user, Synernet in Portland, Maine, noted the legacy servers it used to run required a lot of resources to manage and were expensive to maintain and replace.

“Now, we’ve dramatically reduced the size of our infrastructure footprint, creating a leaner, more efficient system that will save us time, money and hassle,” said Mike Michaud, senior director of IT at Synernet “This new data architecture expertly addresses our performance, capacity, mobility, protection, growth and management issues. Day to day administration has never been easier.”

Estes is excited about the enthusiasm his customers show for the OmniCube technology.

“Our clients are evangelizing it, and you don’t see that every day,” he said.