Japanese University Visits Nutanix!

Last month, a group of business students from Meiji University visited Nutanix HQ to learn about startup culture in Silicon Valley. These students are attending an International Gateways program. Before I joined my previous employer as a training developer, I taught in the TOEFL preparation program at International Gateways. Since I left there, I have kept in touch with my former colleagues and have been privileged to speak to a number of classes.


As their teacher and I planned their visit, the students were instructed to visit the Nutanix web site. When they arrived, the first activity was a quiz about the company; answers could be found on the web site. Students who correctly answered a question chose a Nutanix water bottle or T-shirt as a prize.

Once the quiz was finished, I gave the students an overview of traditional computer architecture and how virtualization differs from that model. Then on to the ugly part: while virtualization solves a lot of business and technical problems, the complexity and cost of managing storage and servers and hypervisors and the network to tie them all together cause a host of new problems. This is the problem for which Nutanix has the solution. At this point I opened up a Nutanix block I happened to have and showed the students the hardware.

With the basics out of the way, I took the floor and talked about the market opportunity and the kind of successes we have been experiencing. While virtualization architecture is outside the specialty of the students, the potential for a 40-60% CAPEX reduction in a smaller box relative to other solutions in the market is not. I finished by explaining the four domains where Nutanix has been found to be most appropriate: VDI, private cloud, disaster recovery, and big data. Naturally they were curious if any of our systems are in Japan, and we were happy to be able to say that there are, at a university and a telecommunications company.

After I went, Member of Technical Staff Chern Yih Cheah spoke to the students about working at a startup and how it differs from a large company like Oracle, where he worked before. Chern likes knowing everyone in the company and having better awareness of how the product is being used in the field, both of which are not possible at larger companies. Although the risk is larger at a startup, the benefits and rewards may be as well.

The students concluded their visit by joining the company for lunch, where they were able to talk with the employees and even the CEO Dheeraj Pandey. They were impressed by the casual dress and interaction. I think that drove home for them what working at a startup is really about: get the work done and don’t let peripheral concerns interfere.