10 Reasons why Nutanix leads the hyper-converged industry

When I started this blog site last October, hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) was still a fringe technology. Just five months later and HCI has entered the mainstream. Rather than fielding questions about hyper-convergence, the inquiries I get today are much more often about what sets Nutanix apart from the rapidly growing pack of HCI players?

Nutanix isn’t just the HCI front-runner; it has a 52% market share. Here are my top ten differentiators as to why Nutanix leads the hyper-converged industry:

1.  A true distributed file system with roots to Google and GFS

Nutanix brings the same type of no-SAN distributed file system infrastructure developed by Google, and now utilized by all leading cloud providers, to the enterprise. The commodity hardware, “share nothing” Nutanix Distributed File System (NDFS) model enables capabilities such as self-healing and data locality that uniquely position Nutanix for enterprise requirements.

 2.  Google-like transparency

Google published papers in 2003 about how it redefined infrastructure with GFS including innovative technologies like Map Reduce and NoSQL. Nutanix is similarly transparent about how our technology works. No secrets, no politics, no misleading claims. (As an example, see www.nutanixbible.com).

3.  Passionate employees

There are 1,648 billionaires on the planet, but only 190 VCDXs. Eleven of them work at Nutanix with more coming. These folks can pretty much work wherever they want. They’re joining Nutanix because of the technology, the culture and the opportunity to be part of revolutionizing the virtualized datacenter.

4.  Dedication to channel partners

Nutanix has been a channel focused company from day one. We strive to help our partners to not just be competent Nutanix resellers, but rather to be leaders in the new era of Web-scale HCI and associated cloud integration. We work with them to achieve differentiation, customer trust and expanded skill sets with programs such as Breakaway, Authorized Consulting Partner, and the recently launched NPX certification.

The learning, of course, goes both ways. We listen to our partners about how we can better serve their customers both today and in the future.

5.  A focus on an uncompromisingly simple customer experience

FW 9

Nutanix doesn’t just sell products, we deliver a customer experience. Nutanix simplifies the lives of IT administrators. Nutanix’s HTML5 Prism UI, for example, is beautifully designed and exceptionally intuitive and easy to use. Or consider firmware upgrades. Even the most advanced 3-tier architectures still require painful and risky firmware upgrades. But Nutanix changes the game with one-click, non-disruptive upgrades for all components including hypervisors.

6.  Industry-leading customer support

Most manufacturers claim that they emphasize customer service. Our customers and partners validate again and again that Nutanix takes support to a whole new level. Nutanix has a +88 Net Promoter Score and is the two-time winner of the Omega Northface Award for “Delivering World Class Customer Service.”

7. A furious pace of innovation

Nutanix’s engineering department doesn’t have a lot of ex-storage folks. Instead, engineers with backgrounds from companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter build massively scalable, very simple and low-cost infrastructure. It’s a completely different mindset, and it leads to rapid development in response to customer requests.

While some innovations, such as the industry’s first HCI all-flash node, incorporate hardware form factors, most are delivered strictly via software (Tesla-style). Recent examples include Metro Availability (for active/active datacenters), encryption, MapReduce Deduplication, Cloud Connect, shadow volumes, Plugin for Citrix XenDesktop, etc.

8.  Multi-hypervisor support

Some HCI manufacturers claim to be hypervisor agnostic though they only work with one hypervisor. Nutanix started with VMware in 2011, began supporting KVM in 2012 and then Hyper-V in 2013.

9.  Dell validation

While Nutanix isn’t the only HCI producer to work with legacy manufacturers, we go far beyond just providing reference architecture. Out of all the HCI players, Dell approached Nutanix to establish a true OEM partnership. The Dell XC Converged Appliances – powered by Nutanix software were painstakingly vetted by both manufacturers to ensure the same high standards of quality, simplicity and support that customers receive with Nutanix-branded appliances.

10. A Web-Scale mindset

The legacy storage manufacturers treat HCI as a storage option in a large line card. Nutanix eats, breathes and sleeps HCI as not only a vastly superior platform for hosting a virtualized datacenter, but as the inevitable future.

Nutanix’s success with HCI has already shaken up the industry as almost every large legacy storage manufacturer now has, or has announced, an HCI solution. And Nutanix’s efforts resonate with customers who tend to have a passion for the technology rivaling that of Nutanix’s own employees.  Nutanix’s first customer conference, Nutanix.NEXT, this June in Miami is chock full of customer presentations. I have six different customers speaking on my ROI panel alone.

 

Thanks to @vmmike130, @Sandeep_NTNX, @farazip and @vEd_NYC for edits and suggestions.

 

 

NPX certification reflects Nutanix’s status as the Switzerland of the Datacenter

switzerland

 

Nutanix announced today the availability of Nutanix Platform Expert (NPX) certification. This certification program is the most rigorous in the industry, requiring extensive architectural capabilities validated through written exams, an extensive web-scale solution design, hands-on lab and design exercises, and a live peer review. And, an NPX needs to be an expert in not just one, but in (at least) two hypervisor platforms.

The Importance of Multi-Hypervisor Expertise

Nutanix is the Switzerland of the datacenter – we are hypervisor agnostic. Our customers can run any of the major hypervisors, or even all three together in the same environment. In the not-too-distant future, they’ll be able to move workloads back and forth between hypervisors. This is why Nutanix has experts throughout the company not only in VMware, but also in both Hyper-V and in KVM.

The hypervisor is the new sheet metal of the datacenter. While VMware dominates the virtualization landscape today, Hyper-V and KVM continue to make big strides. Customers increasingly demand multiple hypervisors for use cases such as big data, OpenStack and test/dev. This trend will accelerate as hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) becomes more widely adopted as the primary vehicle for hosting virtual machines.

Channel partners will play a major role in helping their customers transition from three-tier infrastructures to HCI. They need to be able to help them determine what hypervisors are the most appropriate for different applications or use cases, and then design and deploy a successful multi-hypervisor environment. The NPX certification signifies the very best multi-hypervisor architects in the world.

Beyond the Hypervisor

NPX requires more than multi-hypervisor expertise. There is an intense focus on skills required to migrate businesses from 3-tier to HCI as well as the ability to incorporate new technologies and operational model,s such as containers and DevOps, into Nutanix solutions. This is a very specialized set of skills, and the NPX program is first to market with a methodology that includes them in an enterprise architect certification.

The NPX Certification

The NPX program was developed by a team of fourteen Nutanix experts with many decades of solution design and delivery expertise between them. The goal of the program is to produce and certify the best Enterprise Architects in the world, so the bar is set very, very high in terms of skills required to achieve the credential. And that’s as it should be. The point of NPX is to serve the customer by ensuring a consistently excellent, customer-focused solution design and delivery. The NPX will enter the room at the X-level with the weight of the entire NPX community behind her. Holding NPX gives architects the privilege to address decision-makers directly and to be listened to as a peer.

Next Steps

The good news is that although NPX certification is a Herculean task, candidates will hardly be on their own. The program provides mentoring from some of the world’s best enterprise architects and a series of preparatory workshops to assist candidates on the journey to the pinnacle of IT certification.

And, for another industry first, and a big one, all of this is free for qualified candidates!

All you need to do to get started is register your interest via the nu.school NPX Program Homepage. Registering will allow you to download the NPX Design Review Preparation Guide and NPX Program Application. Once you’ve registered and reviewed the program requirements you can join the NPX community and start developing your certification plan. You can also contact Mark Brunstad, the NPX Program Manager, directly via npx@nutanix.com.

 

 

 

EMC, Pure and NetApp weigh in on Hyper-converged infrastructure

Nearly every leading legacy and startup datacenter hardware player has, or has announced, a Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) solution. But how do they really see HCI?

Yesterday provides some clues: An article from The Register discusses declining array sales; a blog post from EMC President of Global Systems Engineering, Chad Sakac, covers the new VCE HCI announcements; and a post from Pure Storage Chief Evangelist, Vaughn Stewart, makes a case for why HCI won’t replace storage arrays.

Disk Array Disarray

Chris Mellor’s article in The Register, Disk array devastation: New-tech onslaught tears guts from trad biz, reveals what is perhaps a significant reason that the storage manufacturers are entering the HCI market, “An EMC chart shows a steep decline in legacy SAN drive array sales.”  The article goes on to say, “EMC sees the market moving “toward converged and hyperconverged systems, all-flash arrays and purpose-built back-up appliances.”

Sakac Tweet

Chad Sakac’s post, “A big day in converged infrastructure,” discusses how EMC’s Vblock is helping the company address the sea change in storage. The post was not clear (at least to me) about how Vblocks will incorporate HCI – but Sakac left no doubt that they will, “This is the experience of an ‘engineered system’ like a Vblock or a VxBlock – whether it’s converged, or hyper-converged.”

Sakac also references both VSPEX Blue and EVO:Rack – both of which, along with Vblock, are now part of EMC’s VSPEX converged infrastructure division.

Pure Storage

Vaughn Stewart, former Cloud Evangelist atNetApp, wrote an interesting post yesterday about HCI, Hyper-Converged Infrastructures are not Storage Arrays. Stewart starts off endorsing HCI, “I’m a Huge Fan of Hyper-Converged Infrastructures,” but then quickly changes course and relegates the technology to “the low end storage array market.”

Stewart goes on to outright bash HCI – making an argument that data mirroring on a virtual disk basis is inferior to RAID (a technology invented in 1987). Stewart also presents lots of calculations claiming low storage utilization and other supposed HCI limitations.

Vaughn tweet

I’m not going to address Stewart’s claims in this post; they may very well be applicable to other HCI players. They do not apply to Nutanix. Josh Odgers (aka FUDbuster) is writing a post in response to Vaughn’s piece.

Stewart made no mention in his article about Pure’s own apparent plans to introduce an HCI solution.

NetApp

Since NetApp’s Mike Riley wrote the post, VSAN and Hyper-Converged will Hyper-Implode, last June, it’s unfair to assume that it reflects NetApp’s current day perspective on HCI. On the other hand, even when NetApp unveiled ONTAP EVO:Rail a few months ago, the company made it clear that HCI, without NetApp storage, is not suitable for the enterprise.

Duncan Tweet

A Question of Mindset

Sakac, Stewart and Riley are among the most respected technologists in our industry. But they also work for array manufacturers and naturally see the world through the lens of protecting legacy business.

The tremendous gain in mind share of HCI is driving the storage players to enter the market. This further validates the technology even though the array manufacturers position HCI as a low-end alternative to disk or flash arrays.

Nutanix, on the other hand, eats breaths and sleeps web-scale HCI in all that we do. It’s a question of mind set. The array manufacturers offer customers yet another storage option. Nutanix is revolutionizing the virtualized datacenter.

 

 

 

 

 

IBM jumps on the hyper-converged bandwagon

IBM jumps on the hyper-converged bandwagon

Last week’s announcements further show that HCI has gone mainstream.

One of the world’s largest and most storied legacy players, IBM, said it is investing $1 billion in SDS. This BusinessInsider article, In another brilliant move, IBM just budgeted $1 billion to take down EMC,  discusses IBM’s strategy. It also features Nutanix as the “poster child for this new market”.

In the introductory article to this blog site, I described how seven legacy datacenter manufacturers control $56 billion of the annual $73 billion server and storage market. Here’s an updated status of their participation in the HCI space:

HP:                         StorVirtual & EVO:Rail

IBM:                      Announced HCI strategy

Dell:                       Dell XC (Nutanix OEM) & EVO:Rail

Oracle:

Hitachi:               EVO:Rail

Cisco:                    Teamed with Maxta & Simplivity. Investment in stratoscale.

EMC:                     VSPEX Blue & ScaleIO

NetApp:               ON TAP EVO:Rail

As IBM’s server business transitions to Lenovo, the Chinese giant should replace IBM on the list. Lenovo hasn’t yet announced an HCI offering – but undoubtedly it will.

Springpath

Springpath, another HCI start-up, came out of stealth mode last week. Formerly known as Storvisor, Springpath was founded by a couple of VMware veterans (maybe they decided to grab the new name since VMware spun off SpringSource to Pivotal?).

Springpath has $34 Million in funding from Sequoia, Redpoint and other VCs. VMware’s Duncan Epping wrote a complimentary piece about the company on Yellow-Bricks, though Forbes was somewhat critical. I do think that their subscription model is intriguing.

FalconStor

Last week also saw an erroneous headline claiming that small but 15-year old IT company, FalconStor, announced a hyper-converged solution. The new FreeStor is actually a “horizontal converged data services platform”, but it just goes to show how hyper-convergence has become so top-of mind.

Other HCI Players

In addition to industry leader Nutanix and the large legacy players and their partners mentioned above, the other manufacturers who have, or who have announced, HCI solutions include:

Atlantis Computing

Citrix Sanbolic (recent acquisition)

DataCore

Huawei (partnered with DataCore)

NIMBOXX

Pivot3

Pure Storage

Scale Computing

StorMagic

VMware VSAN

Nutanix support wins world class award – again. Here’s what it means for partners.

Last year, Nutanix was one of only 35 companies recognized by Omega Management Group for “Delivering World Class Customer Service”. We did it again this year while increasing our Net Promoter Score (NPS) from a sky high +73 to an even more remarkable +88. This is all very good news for our partners for three primary reasons:

1. Validating Partner Evangelists

The most successful Nutanix partners are iconoclasts – they are not afraid to challenge the prevailing belief in the separation between compute and storage. They put their own reputations on the line by strongly encouraging their clients to consider Nutanix Web-scale as a superior architecture for hosting a virtualized datacenter.

The Omega and NPS scores provide these partners with additional ammunition in the fight against the status quo. They help validate that Nutanix not only has great technology, but also that our emphasis on customer service ensures their implementations will be successful.

Omega

2. Increased Partner Business

Nutanix’s product, like any software in the industry, is not perfect. But there is a saying, “Hardware eventually fails, software eventually works, and the people make all the difference.” Nutanix treats support as a competitive differentiator rather than as a cost center. If a customer has an issue, the Nutanix support team will quickly get to the bottom of it – and won’t rest until it is resolved.

Embracing world-class support as part of the company’s core competency helps create repeat buyers. As customers see how well the technology works and how simple it is to manage, they expand their initial use case, and then purchase still more nodes and services for other initiatives. Nutanix becomes almost a type of annuity business for our partners.

3. Indication of Nutanix Success

A concern that Nutanix partners sometimes encounter, often played up by legacy competition, focuses around the relative young age of Nutanix as a company. Customers want to know what will happen if Nutanix gets acquired.

Partners can provide many responses to combat this concern including Nutanix’s phenomenal growth, its HCI industry domination, our OEM deal with Dell, and the prevalent public speculation about an upcoming IPO.

Nutanix’s extraordinary NPS is yet another argument for continued accomplishment. Ever since its introduction in a 2003 Harvard Business Review article, Net Promoter Score continues to be advocated by many as the most important indicator of business success.

The NPS and Omega Award go hand-in-hand with the raving fans that Nutanix and its partners are engendering around the globe. In the month of January, for example, Nutanix featured a new customer success story every business day. It is typically not easy to convince organizations to be featured in a success story, but they tend to be very happy to share their experiences with Nutanix.

When legacy competitors try to fling the FUD about Nutanix’s young age, I encourage partners to counter by asking these firms to provide their own Net Promoter Scores. Assuming they’re even willing to share them, the contrast should be quite enlightening.

 “Nutanix support is absolutely fantastic. They’re super responsive, they’re all smart, and they aren’t afraid to go ask someone else for help. On top of that, they treat you like the engineer you are. You worked hard to get to where you are, to know what you know. When you call HP or Dell support, they start by saying things like “Did you reboot?”. Even if you say Yes, they still will force you to do the tier 1 troubleshooting first.

With Nutanix support, they take information you’ve provided and infer what troubleshooting has been done. If you tell them you’ve rebooted something, they won’t force you to do it again, because they trust you. They’ll then pursue to look for other solutions. They’ll more than likely know off the top of their head the exact solution, then pull up impeccable documentation on how to fix it.

They have a very knowledgeable staff, all of whom are willing to help each other. When having a drink with our SE the other night, we were talking about this very thing. He never feels that he is out in the dark on his own. He can throw a question about Citrix in their Yammer rooms and within a short period of time, have another engineer who is a Citrix specialist on a call, ready to assist. That’s an amazing amount of internal support, they don’t fight between regions, they don’t assume that you know everything, they help each other.”

– Unsolicited January 2015 blog post from an early Nutanix customer.

 

It Takes an Eco-System

NPS reflects not just the support organization, but the interactions customers have with every aspect of the Nutanix organization as well as with our partners. A reputation for world class support is dependent not only upon the quality of the product, but also upon its successful implementation. Nutanix’s innovative education organization and Authorized Consulting Partner Program enable partners to architect and deploy very successful Web-scale environments.

Nutanix and our partners have a mutual objective of continually raising the bar in respect to customer satisfaction and the repeat business that results. The NPS and Omega Award show that we’re hitting the mark. And as Nutanix Senior Director of Global Support, Deepak Chawla, said, “We will keep our laser focus on the customer and aim for ‘three-peat’ of awards next year.”

Thanks to both Deepak Chawla (@dchawla2005) and Lukas Lundell (@LucasLundell), Director Solutions and Performance Engineering of Nutanix, for contributions to this article.

Why Nutanix isn’t singing the VSPEX BLUEs

Does EMC’s announcement of VSPEX BLUE pose a roadblock to Nutanix’s record-setting momentum?  It’s actually the opposite. Nutanix is not going to revolutionize the $73B server and storage market without a lot of good competitors. And there is no hardware manufacturer more important than EMC to validating hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) as the future of the virtualized datacenter.

The Clout of EMC

EMC started the whole storage array industry in 1990 with its introduction of Symmetrix. The company continues to dominate with a 30% share of the $23.5B storage market. And it has augmented its storage business with many other very successful acquisitions over the years including VMware, Data Domain, Avamar, RSA and Isilon.

The Hopkinton giant has also done an admirable job in developing channel partner loyalty despite selling directly to certain customers. Partners appreciate both the leads EMC brings them and the help it extends in closing deals. They also like the distinction they earn by acquiring EMC certifications. These certs translate into back-end services revenues for integrating EMC’s complex stable of storage products.

But all is not roses. “The Federation” has stumbled a bit the past few years as its revenue growth rate has declined. EMC recently had to absorb the highly unprofitable VCE partnership, and the company was known to have shopped itself out to HP, and possibly others, late last year.

Despite these setbacks, EMC continues to be one of the most influential companies in the datacenter. Customers and partners across the globe take note of its vision and purchase its products. As a recent example, even all of the pain of the disruptive XtremeIO upgrade didn’t squelch its title as the fastest-growing EMC product ever (albeit a lot of this growth is likely coming at the expense of declining VMAX sales).

Positioning of VSPEX BLUE

EMC is going to market with an EVO:Rail solution as part of its VSPEX group which now also includes VCE. VSPEX, of course, is a converged infrastructure reference architecture including servers, storage and network while Vblock is a manufacturer-integrated solution. In neither case is there any actual convergence of infrastructure. Customers still face the same extensive rack space requirements, management challenges and scalability issues as when purchasing the products individually.

VMware’s EVO:Rail, on the other hand, is genuinely hyper-converged infrastructure. It includes consolidation of redundant hardware and elimination of multiple management tiers. (As an aside, “hyper” in hyper-convergence stands for “hypervisor”, not for “excessive”. Hyper-converged products only work, at least today, with virtualized workloads).

VSPEX BLUE’s product name and category grouping indicates that EMC considers hyper-convergence to be just another offering in its vast array of storage oriented products. EMC Chairman, Joe Tucci, reinforced this perspective in his 01/30/2014 earnings call: “Let me add a little color. When our sales force goes in they don’t think about [deciding] what’s declining, what’s growing, what they think about is, what are the customers’ needs and then we have a whole portfolio of products and as you can see, that’s our strength and as we are doing that, you can also note that our gross margins are doing well.”

Nutanix: One Mission

While Nutanix describes its offering as “Web-scale” in reference the Google-like infrastructure it introduced to the enterprise, the overall industry increasingly recognizes the broad category as “hyper-converged infrastructure”.  Nutanix, with a 52% market share, is the clear leader in the hyper-converged space.

IDC HCI chartUnlike EMC, Nutanix does not consider hyper-converged infrastructure to be a storage line-item. We live, eat and breathe Web-scale as not only a vastly superior platform for hosting a virtualized datacenter, but as the inevitable future.

If you go to Nutanix’s engineering department, you don’t find a lot of ex-storage folks. Instead, engineers from companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter work to enable massively scalable, very simple and low-cost infrastructures for government and enterprise customers. It’s a completely different mindset.

This same scale-out mindset is pervasive in marketing, finance, channels, operations, HR, professional services, alliances and sales. Sr. VP of Sales, Sudheesh Nair, recently commented in a blog post, “EMC is a $60B company with one of the fiercest and meanest enterprise sales engines ever assembled on the face of the earth (I say this as a compliment with full admiration).”

But as good as EMC’s sales force may be, messaging hyper-convergence as just another approach to a virtualized data center is going to be difficult to convey with the same conviction as Nutanix’s sales folks. Nutanix is focused on revolutionizing the data center – or as our federal team likes to say, #OneMission.

So Who Will Win, Nutanix or EMC?

A big answer to this question, of course, is dependent upon the channel. Channel partners hold a lot of sway over their customers and are instrumental in helping them select the best technology for their requirements.

Fortunately, we’re seeing a rapidly increasing number of channel partners adopt the same type of Web-scale passion as our own sales teams. Partners are realizing that while they may not be able to charge their customers for the same back-end integration services that EMC products enable, they develop a deeper trust and many more higher margin services opportunities in areas such as hybrid and private cloud enablement, big data, Splunk, metro cluster, VDI and so on.

The VSPEX BLUE launch, paradoxically, is going to help Nutanix partners make a huge leap forward. Marketing gurus Al Ries and Jack Trout describe “Law #1: The Law of Leadership” in their book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. This law states, “The leading brand in any category is almost always the first brand into the prospect’s mind.”

In other words, by promoting VSPEX BLUE, EMC sets the stage to win against the real competition – the $73B of servers and storage sold every year. Both Nutanix partners and their customers will win as a result.

See Also

EMC’s VSPEX BLUE Joins the VMware EVO:RAIL Family of Systems. 02/03/2015. Mornay Van Der Walt. VMware Blogs.

EMC’s Joe Tucci on Q4 2014 Results – Earnings Call Transcript. 01/30/2014. Seeking Alpha.

EMC Combines VCE, VSPEX into New $1B-plus Converged Infrastructure Business. 01/28/2014. Joe Kovar. CRN.

IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Hyperconverged Systems. 01/26/2015. Storage Newsletter.

On Classless Winners and Classy Losers. 01/26/2015. Sudheesh Nair. LinkedIn.

EMC said to Explore Options Ahead of CEO’s Retirement. 09/22/2014. Beth Jinks. Bloomberg.

XtremIO Craps on EMC Badge. 09/18/2014. Nigel Poulton. Nigelpoulton.com

 

 

 

 

 

Citrix’s Sanbolic acquisition: The s**t has hit the SAN

Citrix announced its acquisition of Sanbolic at its partner conference last week, giving it a hyper-converged solution to compete with VMware’s VSAN. But reading between the lines, the acquisition, along with VSAN, further validates that the SAN is dead for End User Computing (EUC).

The Hyper-converged Bandwagon

Citrix and VMware, of course, dominate the EUC market. Both organizations have been partnering with Nutanix for some time. They are enthusiastic about the ability of hyper-converged infrastructure to dramatically accelerate VDI by slashing the cost, complexity, risk and performance inconsistency of a virtual desktop deployment. With the advantages of hyper-converged infrastructure, 2015 may well finally be the year of VDI.

IDC HCI chart

A first-ever market share report for hyperconverged solutions from IDC ranks the contenders as of August 2014 based on execution, strategy, and market share. The size of a vendor’s bubble reflects that vendor’s market share. Nutanix is firmly in the leader position with 52% of the entire market. IDC’s next report will presumably include Citrix along with other datacenter incumbents and yet more start-ups.

What about Sanbolic vs. Nutanix?

Not unexpectedly, several partners at Citrix Summit asked me how the Sanbolic acquisition is going to affect Citrix’ relationship with Nutanix. I do not anticipate any disruption to the momentum between our companies for the following four reasons:

  1. Sanbolic Technology Still Needs to be Improved and Integrated. Sanbolic is a 14 year old company with approximately 30 employees. Sanbolic has been partnering with Citrix since at least 2010. The Nutanix and Citrix relationship is much more recent, but is rapidly building great traction including the only hyper-converged CVS (Citrix Validated Solution). Nutanix already enables the software-defined simplicity, elegance and automation that Citrix CEO, Mark Templeton, spoke about in his keynote.
  1. VSAN Parallel. A similar situation has been taking place with VMware VSAN. Even though Nutanix competes with VMware in the hyper-converged space, we still have a strong partnership – particularly with VMware EUC. This bodes well for continued momentum with Citrix.
  1. Citrix-Specific Innovation. Nutanix continues to innovate to add further value to Citrix customers. At Summit, we formally announced the Nutanix Plugin for Citrix XenDesktop. This patented capability enables the desktop folks to handle the infrastructure tasks. The Plugin for XenDesktop provides full SLA management direct from the XenDesktop Studio Console. No one else does this.
  1. Citrix Partners. Nutanix continues to work closely with leading Citrix partners across the globe. At Summit, the most commonly expressed Citrix partner description of Nutanix was that it is a “game-changer.” As Jim Steinlage of Choice Solutions remarked, “[Nutanix] allows us to have the applications up and running much more timely and with more predictable results. And Nutanix enables us to achieve our goal of providing users with a better experience than their physical desktop from day one.”

The Rapidly Growing Competitive Landscape

Beyond the contenders featured in the IDC hyper-converged report, five of the seven leading datacenter hardware manufacturers now all have launched or announced hyper-converged solutions (not even including EVO:Rail solutions): Dell, HP, EMC, Cisco and NetApp. This is expected. Nutanix is not going to turn the $73B server & storage market on its head without lots of competition.

As the competition starts to mature and improve, the onus will be on Nutanix to continue innovating and raising the bar in areas such as performance, simplicity and scalability as well as in capabilities such as hybrid cloud enablement and management. This is the only way we will maintain our leadership position. I believe Nutanix is up to the challenge.