Cloud-computing appliance maker Nutanix is tackling a problem that has dogged the deployment of virtual servers and desktops: all the key hypervisors require storage area networks and centralized storage. To overcome this limitation, Nutanix has created a virtualized controller that implements a clustered file system and embeds …
Wrong way around.
I'm tired due to have a young baby in the house, and am also perhaps missing something pretty major here, but it appears to me that instead of finding a market need, then developing a product to fill it. They appear to have developed a product and only then tried to think of what could be done with it.
The "advanced" features of VMware - vMotion, HA, DRS et al - have been available without needing a dedicated physical SAN for several years now, with LeftHand Networks' VSA for example, and now with VMware's own vSphere Storage Appliance functionality. Not to mention that there are numerous other benefits & reasons why you'd want a dedicated physical SAN other than just to enable those few features I mentioned there, for example, can this product support the VAAI features - Atomic-test-and-set, Data Copy offload, Thin Provision Stun etc etc? Also, done correctly with the right technology - Compellent for example - a dedicated physical SAN with genuinely advanced functionality and a bucket-load of benefits needn't cost the earth either.
That's not to mention that the product this article is advertising doesn't even support ESXi!?!?! What's THAT all about!?!? ESXi has been around for several years now, and the writing has been on the wall pointing towards the obsolescence of full-fat ESX for just as long, so not supporting ESXi is inexcusable. They are basically saying that they cannot run the current version of the market leading virtualisation platform (vSphere 5) and there is no firm date for when they will be able to either, from what I can find.
In addition, this product does away with all the CapEx and OpEx benefits of using commodity servers for your compute nodes, since they have to 'tune & optimise' each node to be able to handle the storage load as well...
All in all, I don't think it's worth the pixels it's being advertised with, but you probably got that already, if indeed you've even read this far :)
Re: Wrong way around.
I think you are tired. Right up front in the story:
"The architecture is hypervisor agnostic," explains Pandey, with VMware's ESXi 4.1 hypervisor being the first one to get support on the cloud appliance. "ESX thinks it is talking to SAN storage and it is not."
It supports ESXi, with Hyper-V and KVM coming as customers ask.
Nice, but pricey
Here's a market segment to go for. Mainstream commodity servers (Proliant DL360/DL380 for example), and smallish companies who've found it cost-effective to virtualise their servers, but balk at the £10k+ pricetag of 1Gb iSCSI, or £15k for FC. Saying it's $25k per node for a "discounted starter pack" is a bit steep considering they're only really talking about 2-socket machines.
Nice idea. Let's do it again with a target market in mind though, eh?
Reinventing the wheel, nothing new here.