Cloud Like Flexibility for Nutanix Files Licensing

Since we launched Nutanix Files, formerly Acropolis File Services (AFS) less than two years ago we have been pleased with the speed of adoption. We now have over 850 customers with over 20 PB under management. We have been particularly pleased by the number of customers who adopted Files as a primary reason for implementing the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS.

A common challenge customers raised was that the Nutanix Files licensing model was tied to our HCI licensing model. This made sense if they were planning to deploy Nutanix Files on each node in their cluster. The more common deployments organizations adopted were dedicated nodes or dedicated clusters to host file data while managing their entire estate as part of their overall HCI implementation. In this case, licensing that used nodes as the meter did not align as well to the value our customers saw. The value they placed on file storage was largely based on used capacity.

Now that Nutanix Files has reached feature, performance, and scale parity with leading file storage solutions and is even delivering new and uniquely different features over competitive offerings, more organizations are beginning to consider Nutanix Files as a stand alone file storage whether or not they have an HCI implementation. For all of these reasons we are adapting Nutanix Files to these changing needs. On November 15th, Nutanix Files became available as a distributed file storage solution leveraging “used capacity” based licensing to meet the demand of our HCI customers and general file storage customers.

“Used capacity” refers to the capacity under management and is the meter for the licensing metric. As an example, if a customer has 100 TB of File data, then they have 100 TB of used capacity and need 100 TB of Nutanix Files used capacity licenses. This licensing model aligns with customer value for file storage.

There are a number of benefits for this method of capacity calculation. First, used capacity aligns closely with consumption, similar to a public cloud. Second, this new software focused model decouples capacity used from the underlying hardware. An organization can start small (capacity and time dimensions) and then grow. Finally, we offer the freedom to snap and clone. Customers often make multiple clones or copies of data leveraging snapshots and clones for backup and version control purposes. Under these circumstances, a customer only pays for the primary data and not the copy data. For example, if a customer has 100 TB of data and a clone is made consuming an additional 100TB of data, the customer still only licenses the first 100 TB. If the primary copy of data increases to 110TB with the cloned copy still consuming 100TB of capacity, the customer would only need to be licensed for the 110TB of primary data.

Many of our HCI customers have already adopted and deployed Nutanix Files in their environment. For these customers we will be grandfathering their capacity into their license entitlements. When existing customers move their Nutanix clusters to the new licensing model, they will need to do a single click licensing action to download their Nutanix Files licenses. For additional details, please contact your Nutanix Sales Rep.

The used capacity based licensing is just one of many new features coming from Nutanix Files. This week at Nutanix .Next, London, we will be unveiling our new increased capacity which allows for 140TB top level directories and the ability to create nested directories. We will be demonstrating our new file analytics which gives unparalleled insights into how users are using data and visibility into potential threats. We will be demonstrating the new multi protocol capabilities which provides flexibility to your mix architecture environments. And we will be presenting how the simplicity of self-healing and self-tuning file storage can free administrators from the break/fix grind.

If you can’t make it to Nutanix .Next London, we will be blogging on these topics and presenting all of these great new capabilities in a webinar on December 6th. You can register for that webinar here.

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