Converged server-system startup Nutanix, which sells all of its products through the channel, says hypervisors are the virtual sheet metal of the commodity server game. You won't need separate storage arrays, instead you can get a storage pool across many servers by virtualising their directly attached storage (DAS). Nutanix is …
It sounds to me from a lock-in standpoint the Nutanix solution is far more lock in then a software-only solution like VSAN. They admit it themselves they want to be and end to end solution provider- so you are locked into their solution.
Not that there is a problem with lock-in, just seems sort of hypocritical to call out VMware as lock in when guess what, Nutanix is lock in too.
The approach these two players are taking is certainly interesting, myself I still have tons of concerns on how well it works, what they are trying to do is incredibly complicated to get right, assuming it's even possible(or perhaps more specifically if it's even a worthwhile exercise).
It would not surprise me in the end if both of these companies toss their integrated compute capabilities (or put them at the low end of the market ala HP Storevirtual VSA) and shift focus almost entirely to distributed grid storage, and most customers end up with separate(but more optimized) compute and storage stacks.
They would still have a very compelling solution(on paper), and theoretically there would be significantly less risk and complexity to managing deployments. Also likely higher margins too, storage tends to have much higher margins than compute servers and companies seem to like margin.
Re: lock in
Nutanix are NOT delivering a lock in product, they are a software company that supply a product that runs on COTS - so where do you see lock in like VSAN - the appliances they also sell?
The appliances are there for one main function, central support and consumer-like ease of use for those organisations that are just fed up of vendor finger pointing when they have a problem on their multi-vendor hardware. Even the supposed converged systems from EMC and NetApp are just bundles of kit with a level 0 call centre in front. Get a problem and you get directed to a relevant support team, and if they don't agree it's with them then expect hours, days, or weeks of pain...
Nutanix support everything in a highly rack dense 4 nodes in 2U appliance made of commodity parts, you can build one yourself - try that with Simplivity! Nutanix will also support Arista switches internally and even own your VMware service ticket to give you a total hands off customer support experience.
But, I hear you cry, if they supply hardware then they cannot claim to be software defined anything! Well, NDFS is their product, not their appliances; so if you have a good case, like building your own kit and putting up with decentralised hardware support, and you ask them REAL nice, then I'm sure a license only SOFTWARE version of NDFS will be provided to keep you happy.
True Software Defined Data Services, and unlike VSAN hypervisor agnostic.
True, if you get hooked on NDFS as a storage system then you can't port it to a regular monolithic SAN system, so you could claim some sort of lock in there. But your data isn't locked in, you could Zerto it out to anywhere in a heartbeat - so where is the problem?
Note I'm not a Nutanix employee, but I am a partner. I became a partner because finally I can see a company that combines the right people with the right ideas, the right attitude, and the right product. They are going places with knobs on, and I want to sit on their coat tails.
Re: lock in
"and you ask them REAL nice, then I'm sure a license only SOFTWARE version of NDFS will be provided to keep you happy."
Based on what they charge, I'm sure a software only license won't be more than $15k a node.
That's my only beef, at $20k a node($80k an appliance) anyone with a current infrastructure probably won't switch.
Re: lock in
@UJSTech: That's one reason why, when their stuff was pitched to us, we said, 'interesting concept, but we want to see what we can get out of the money we've invested in commodity 2U servers and storage for the SAN filers before we start looking at something else'
A "software company" that won't sell its software? How long before people realize its just open source on cheap hardware with a 70% markup?