Q&A with Tiffany To of Nutanix - Page 3
VSM: If you bring compute and storage together in the same box, does this limit customers who want just compute or just storage? How does a customer scale your solution?
TT: With virtualization, customers have to scale their compute and storage together already, but it’s a seesaw that requires constant rebalancing to manage sufficient capacity and performance. This takes valuable IT time and increases the overall cost of virtualization efforts over time. A Nutanix block comes complete with compute and storage, with each block of four nodes containing 48 cores of Intel Xeon 5650 and 20TB of SATA drives, and 1.28TB of Fusion-io ioMemory that delivers a consistent 25K random write IOPS and 16 Gbps sequential read bandwidth. This removes the need for performance redesign and rebalancing, making virtualization growth dramatically simpler and cost-effective.
VSM: What are customers doing with the Nutanix solution? What are the key use cases?
TT: The Nutanix Complete Cluster is preloaded with VMware vSphere 5 so customers can get going with a variety of virtualization workloads right out of the box. We’re seeing many of our mid-sized enterprises use the system for private cloud use cases, from server consolidation to on demand test/dev environment provisioning, and for desktop virtualization. A small, but growing, group of customers is using our solution for managing big data witih Hadoop as well.
VSM: VDI as a virtualization use case seems to be growing steadily, but it seems like there are many hurdles like cost and complexity that have held it back. What does Nutanix do to help?
TT: Making the business case for a virtual desktop that costs more than a physical desktop has definitely hindered VDI adoption, but another key hurdle is the organizational challenge of corralling the server, storage and virtualization owners in an IT team together to make VDI happen. With Nutanix, we provide a turnkey VDI-in-a-box offering that powers two to three hundred desktops in a single 2U appliance, but most important, we offer scale-out so that the customer can move from a few hundred to a few thousand desktops with zero rearchitecture. They only buy what they need so that a business case for a large capital outlay for the whole infrastructure can be avoided. Instead, a customer can use their quarterly desktop refresh budget to fund a VDI pilot with a Nutanix box, and they can add incremental nodes as they grow that deployment. This ensures they realize the ROI on this advanced virtualization use case nearly immediately.
VSM: How much does the Nutanix solution cost and how do customers buy from you?
TT: A Nutanix Complete Cluster is a Fusion-io powered virtualization appliance that can be purchased as a 3 node Starter Kit or fully populated 4 node block, with list price starting at $90,000. Compared to traditional server and SAN/NAS offerings, this complete high-performance, virtualized datacenter building block is 40-60% lower in cost and delivers 5-10X price/performance.