Nutanix Says You Can Dump Your SAN


Nutanix Says You Can Dump Your SAN

By Doug Barney

Convergence can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For Nutanix, it means converging storage infrastructure, and in particular getting rid of those SANs.

SANs have gotten a lot better in recent years. There is better compatibility, manageability and affordability. While the early SAN nightmares are largely over, SANs are still a bear to install and use. Plus they are expensive.

That is why Nutanix notion of a SAN-free data center is so compelling. “Through the use of server-attached PCIe Flash and high capacity SATA drives, Nutanix’ distributed storage and compute cluster localizes the data-path for higher performance and reduced complexity,” the company said. “Inspired by SAN-less distributed systems employed by Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter, Nutanix is first to market with an enterprise-friendly, easy to deploy storage and compute cluster that dynamically grows to meet business demands.”

Now the company is updating its core piece of software in the form of Nutanix OS 3.5.

The tool is built for the new data center world where more and more workloads are virtualized.

And backing up all these VMs is tough indeed. For high-speed storage, flash is coming to the rescue. But Nutanix believes this is not enough. “While the addition of high-speed flash to server infrastructures has yielded incremental benefits, a completely new, software-driven approach is now required. NOS 3.5 delivers an intelligent architecture that understands data access patterns to adaptively manage storage utilization in real-time and applies inline technologies to accelerate application performance,” the company said.

Elastic Dedupe

The new NOS 3.5 now boasts the Nutanix Elastic Deduplication Engine. This shrinks storage requirement while at the same time speeding applications as there is less data to move around. The dedupe technology works on an array of storage types, including RAM (now popular for in-memory computing), hard drives and flash.

“The Nutanix Elastic Deduplication Engine continuously analyzes read I/O access patterns and granularly deduplicates data to deliver the highest possible performance and to maximize effective storage capacity. For applications with large working sets, such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments, the technology increases effective flash and memory resources by up to 10x and delivers nearly instantaneous application response times,” the company said.

One customer is already reaping the rewards. “We use the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform to build portable datacenters to provide testing and education services in Asia and the Middle East,” said Jean-Manuel Becker, director of IT Systems at Pearson, the world’s leading learning company. “Innovations like the new Elastic Deduplication Engine will be powerful for improving the performance of applications and optimizing storage resources. As a software-driven capability, this technology is available to us without having to purchase new hardware.”

Analyst firm the Taneja Group is sold as well. “Nutanix pioneered the creation of Hyper-converged solutions that dramatically simplify IT infrastructure, reduce costs and improve manageability,” said Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst for Taneja. “With NOS 3.5, Nutanix is upping the ante by adding their Elastic Deduplication Engine, which improves the performance of the memory and flash layers with software-driven, inline deduplication technology. This, along with a simplified UI and the availability of Prism API, should propel Nutanix and Hyper-convergence into mainstream enterprise datacenters.”

Edited by Alisen Downey

MSPToday Editor at Large

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