Is Nutanix a Storage Company?

Almost 6 months ago, I joined Nutanix. When @anjans, ex-colleague of VMware, contacted me about Nutanix, I was puzzling over what I can do in a storage company as I understood what Nutanix is at that time. In the last 4 years, I was working on operations management, specifically analytics solutions, and make them available to large enterprises to get rid of their daily operations pain – detect the operations problem they need to solve proactively and solve it quickly. I was wondering how that was related to a storage company. I talked to a few “nutants” (that’s how we call a Nutanix employee) and finally spoke with @howardting. And that conversation made me realize that Nutanix is not just about storage. It is about something much bigger. And that triggered my decision to join the team. The 6 month’s journey here reinforced that realization. So what is exactly that big thing?

To understand that, let’s think as a consumer for a moment. When we as a consumer buy a laptop and iPad, we always take the volume of the storage as a consideration, even though many of contents today live in the cloud. Why? Why do we still want to buy a 128GB vs. 16GB iPad, where we can store content in the cloud and manage it by a professional team? The answer is simple. It is about the speed. When you want to watch a movie on iPad, it is much faster to have the movie stored on the iPad than in iCloud. You actually also pay much less since you need not pay the extra capacity in iCloud and additional bandwidth on your wireless bill. That was what computer originally was built until SAN came. Why do enterprises want SAN? The one thing local storage won’t be able to give you is resiliency and scalability. SAN tries to solve that. However, you get penalties – the speed penalty of “N” (network) and the cost penalty of the need for a specialized team and specialized storage arrays. How do you get all of them – speed and low cost of local storage and resiliency and scalability of SAN – together without compromise? This where Nutanix’s technology shine.

Nutanix’s technology based on the distributed computing is a perfect fit to solve this problem. The Nutanix Distributed Filesystem (NDFS), its first application, makes the workload always access the data locally while the distributed system ensures the resiliency. NDFS enables you to use x86 devices to lower your hardware costs and scale your infrastructure as you expand your applications. You can get more details on its inner work by reading “The Nutanix Bible” by @StevenPoitras. Now you get all these benefits without compromise to make both compute and storage into the same equation and bring them close as they were originally designed. Some people call it hyper-convergence. Nutants call it web-scale infrastructure.

But is this what Nutanix just about? Absolutely not. NDFS is just the first application of Nutanix’s distributed computing technology. It turns out that the same technology can apply to many other aspects of the data center. Nutanix’s mantra is to make IT uncompromisingly simple. That includes infrastructure setup and configuration. That also includes infrastructure management – provisioning, proactive operations, RCA, and converged analytics-driven operations. Enterprise IT today runs on web-scale infrastructure to meet agile business needs. And the web-scale infrastructure requires the web-scale IT management.

Dots are connected. Now we are talking about operations efficiency, SLA, workload optimization, self-healing – all the values that my passion is about. And that’s why I believed Nutanix is a perfect place for me to continue my passion on operations analytics. And that’s why I am in faith that working with so many nutants, we, together, can build something big, something that disrupts the data center status quo, something that liberates IT – the admins, the operators, the managers, the CIOs, and ultimately the business users. That is what Nutanix is about.

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