The Journey has Begun

Declaring A SAN-Free World this 4th of July

Welcome to our blog. Ever since we conceived Nutanix in September of 2009, we’ve been heads-down building the product and a business that have begun to hum. Our laser focus on price/performance, usability (UI), and partner success has started to show real results in field trials. We are now embarking on a new phase in which we will talk, and talk a lot!  So brace yourselves as we engage enthusiasts, zealots, and early adopters alike. As we unveil the company out of stealth in the coming months, it will be a whole lot of fun sharing our story on how we plan to change the game in the datacenter. And change we will!

Going down memory lane, it all looks so obvious now as to why we did what we did. But it wasn’t that easy. Realizing that our past experiences at Google (GFS), Oracle (Exadata), and Aster Data (Big Data-Warehousing) had a common thread was more of a process than an instant revelation. This trifecta of an experience between the three of us had three things in common (talk about trilogies!):

  • They were SAN-less, as they brought compute (applications) closer to storage (data), completely banishing network storage
  • They were not a single-box solution
  • They used off-the-shelf x86 hardware to scale out

But they were missing a few important ingredients that were big lessons for us along the way:

  • They were complex products built for the highest-end users. An Apple-like usability (and simplicity) was conspicuously missing
  • They were custom stacks built for custom applications, not general-purpose enough to be bought and sold in a high-volume marketplace
  • They didn’t appeal to the indirect resellers (“hi-tech merchants”) because they were never designed ground-up with channel-friendliness in mind.

In essence, we had come to realize that melding the former three virtues with the latter would be a recipe for a very large and successful business. And a pent-up demand had already built up for such a product. That market was virtualization. We had spoken with hundreds of data center folks who were excited about virtualization but equally frustrated with performance, price, and scalability of the end-to-end stack, often beset by an 800-pound gorilla called “storage”. As virtualization picked up steam from a pure test-n-dev play to a ubiquitous server-consolidation platform during this last recession, the storage incumbents saw a massive tsunami sweep them with new requirements of performance, price/performance, and manageability. And given their baggage, they could do nothing about it — the change was swift and irreversible. The best they could do was try to fit a square peg in a round hole.

Nutanix is about to change all of that, with your support and collaboration. We’ll be agile, as you, the market, tell us how we fit into your datacenter puzzle. We’ll start small in your datacenter, prove success, and then help you grow the same single system as your requirements change. We’ll be turnkey for things that have traditionally taken weeks to deploy. We’ll be seamless, integrating with your existing processes, tools, and governance rules.

Most importantly, we’ll be simple. And who can argue against that?!