As part of Khosla Ventures, I’m privileged to be involved with disruptive technologies very early on, sometimes at a stage when it may be hard to fully see the impact that a technology may have on the market. When I met with the founders of Nutanix, I saw very quickly that this was not one of those situations.
The penetration of virtualization has driven server consolidation and enabled enterprises to run diverse applications on the same physical server, and the resulting increased utilization of servers has put new, immense pressure on storage performance. Many startups are tackling this space, but it’s clear that incremental improvements to today’s storage technologies are inadequate in enabling enterprises to realize the full potential of virtualization.
A complete rethinking of the storage layer is needed.
Nutanix is the only company that has cracked the code on this problem while the incumbents are asleep at the wheel. In the late 1990s, I left FORE Systems, which built ATM switches, for Alteon Websystems, as Ethernet switches and Server-Load-Balancers became fundamental for the construction of the Internet, with TCP/IP eclipsing ATM. Today, Nutanix’s approach to converged compute and storage delivers a fundamentally new building block for datacenters after decades of bigger and bigger SANs in the enterprise. The impact is radical and IT professionals will wonder in ten years how they were ever be able to build a virtual computing environment with SANs.
As the newest member of the Nutanix board, I am very excited to be part of the revolution that Nutanix is bringing to the virtualized datacenter.