Q&A with Evan Powell of Nexenta Systems
VSM: Tell us about a little about Nexenta’s founding, and its unique business model.
EP: Our founders, Alex Aizman and Dmitry Yusupov, came from the Linux open source community. After Sun Microsystems was acquired by Oracle, Nexenta founders took the established, proven OpenSolaris kernel and combined it with highly efficient ZFS technology to create our flagship software product, NexentaStor.
What is unique about NexentaStor is what we’ve termed, “OpenStorage.” It’s enterprise-class storage software that works on any industry-standard hardware. Essentially, we are doing to the storage industry what Linux and Intel did to the proprietary, cost prohibitive server market. We enable open storage architectures to deliver a superior price performance that makes the transition away from EMC and NetApp a no brainer.
VSM: What are some of the advantages of “OpenStorage”?
EP: NexentaStor software’s open model takes advantage of the rapid advancements in the hardware market, empowering customers to achieve massive scale within budget.
With NexentaStor’s open architecture, customers’ storage systems can be easily upgraded as needed with a simple software upgrade. Traditional legacy vendors, such as EMC and NetApp, require that you buy their pricey hardware every time you need to expand your storage capacity, which has become unsustainable for many businesses.
VSM: What are some of the challenges associated with managing a VDI deployment?
EP: The first challenge and highest hurdle to overcome to achieve the full promise of virtual desktop infrastructure or VDI is storage cost. More than 70 percent of all VDI projects fail due to cost overruns, of which 40 percent is associated with proprietary storage.
Second, the expertise and in-depth knowledge required to manage VDI can overwhelm IT staffs. VDI creates new workloads that, for most IT staffs, represent unchartered territory. What once was sequential read-write functionality now becomes random.
VSM: How does Nexenta’s new technology address these challenges?
EP: By nature of its unmatched cost and price performance, the OpenStorage model is practically a necessity for companies that want to deploy a VDI environment. Adding to that, ZFS technology upon which NexentaStor is based, is highly scalable and ideal for VDI. Our latest product, NexentaVSA for View is an out-of-the-box, ready-to-use VDI solution. With it, we are taking advantage of proven NexentaStor technology to bring cost-effective storage and performance-optimized I/O to VDI deployments.
NexentaVSA for View drastically simplifies the deployment and management of storage for VDI installations. The solution provides real-time analytics to troubleshoot, measure and monitor the deployment. Customers are also empowered to optimize the process of sizing, configuring and scaling their storage infrastructure for VDI.
We’re currently recruiting trial participants for NexentaVSA beta, but the product will be generally available by June 2012.
VSM: How does NexentaVSA mitigate the challenges for VDI deployments?
EP: We already addressed that NexentaStor’s OpenStorage technology is a huge cost advantage, which helps with initial buy-in from upper management and ensures the VDI deployment won’t fail due to cost overruns.