Nutanix Upgrades NX Appliances, Improves Storage, VM Compute Capabilities5:20 PM EST Mon. Dec. 10, 2012
Nutanix, a startup developer of technology that combines storage and virtual servers into data center building blocks it says can eliminate traditional networked storage, has released a new version of its converged storage and compute appliance.
Nutanix has also released a new version of its operating system that expands its ability to provide disaster recovery and adds new storage capabilities to virtualized environments.
Nutanix, which was founded in 2009, has in the last year since it started selling its combined storage and virtual server appliance displaced about $25 million in storage infrastructure sales from companies such as EMC and NetApp, said Howard Ting, vice president of the San Jose, Calif.-based company.
"We're continuing to expand our technology leadership," Ting said.
The company's new NX-3000 appliance, which will start shipping this month to early access customers and which next month will be available to all its channel partners, features higher performance over the existing NX-2000 appliance thanks to the use of Intel's new Sandy Bridge processor, which replaces the NX-2000's Westmere processor.
The NX-3000 also features dual 10-Gbit Ethernet ports and double the PCIe capacity of the NX-2000, Ting said.
Unlike the NX-2000, where both performance and capacity scaled at the same time, the NX-3000 now allows customers to scale performance and capacity independently, he said. "That will allow customers to deploy an infrastructure that meets their specific requirements," he said.
As a result, with the NX-3000, both compute-heavy nodes and capacity-heavy nodes can coexist in a single heterogeneous cluster, each with varying numbers of CPU cores per socket and variable memory capacities, he said.
Nutanix's new Nutanix Operating System (NOS) 3.0 now supports disaster recovery at the virtual machine level rather than at the volume or LUN level, which requires customers to replicate their entire storage infrastructure, Ting said.
"We provide DR at the virtual machine level," he said. "Customers can say which VMs are critical and set policies specific to them. The policies are flexible, and could include doing master-to-master replication and not just master-to-slave. So every site can act as both a primary and a backup site. This provides a lot of flexibility in setting up disaster recovery policies."
NEXT: Also New With Nutanix NOS 3.0
NOS 3.0 also includes virtual machine-level compression, which allows customers to compress virtual machines as they are written, a process called in-line processing that Ting said is good for sequential processes like Hadoop, after they are written to disk, or in post-processing, which has less impact on CPU and SSD performance.
"In-line compression is very common," Nutanix's Ting said. "Post-processing compression is unique to us."
NOS 3.0 now works in KVM virtualization environments, whereas the previous version only worked in VMware environments, Ting said. Other environments, including Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer, will be supported in the future.
"KVM is well aligned for Hadoop and other big data workloads," he said. "Much better aligned than VMware is."
NOS 3.0 also lets customers upgrade storage nodes dynamically without any downtime, with workloads on the node to be upgraded dynamically, moving to other nodes while the upgrading is being done, Ting said.
Nutanix has an all-channel business model, with about 100 solution providers worldwide, about half of which are active, Ting said.
"We need to grow that number significantly," he said. "But we are being selective and signing up only those who are committed to us."
The NX-3000 is priced at $144,000, which includes four server nodes in a single enclosure. The disaster recovery and the new post-process compression require a separate software license, Ting said.
PUBLISHED DEC. 10, 2012