Nutanix EMEA HQ and Web-scale IT

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Last week my friends from Nutanix opened their brand new EMEA Headquarters in Hoofddorp (Amsterdam). It’s awesome to see such a company like Nutanix opening their HQ in the Netherlands. If you don’t know what Nutanix does, you’ve probably been living under a rock, and the first thing you need to know is that the world is round…. Just to spread a little light on the Nutanix way of life.

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Nutanix wouldn’t be Nutanix if this opening wouldn’t be a big party, and as always they showed their love for the community by inviting a couple of bloggers to a special blogger event  just an hour before the grand opening party. And even better, they had Dheeraj Pandey (CEO), Howard Ting (VP Marketing & Product Management),  Mark Fisher (Senior Director, Worldwide Demand Generation at Nutanix), Declan Waters (Director, Corporate Communications), Dirk Marichal (VP Sales EMEA) and Jan Ursi (Director EMEA, Channel Sales & Field Marketing at Nutanix) to make sure the bloggers were entertained like rockstars. We even got a Scott D. Lowe Software-Defined Storage for Dummies Book ;-P

sds-for-dummies-1024x613 Click to download

Opening the Head Quarters in Amsterdam is the best choice if you ask me, and that is not only because I’m a dutch guy. Looking at the Virtualization Community and the knowledge of technology in the Benelux the choice of being here is easy to make (although the financial people would probably tend more towards Dublin ;-))

The meeting was opened by Jan Ursi who told us that this was an historical meeting because of the awesome technology offered by Nutanix is already changing the IT World, and will keep on continue doing so. The bloggers present would (in the “near” future) look back at this event and know they were part of a piece of IT history… I’ll take his word on that 😉

After Jan it was Dirk’s turn. Dirk talked about the past to build a bridge to the future. He told us why Nutanix is changing the world and also explained the choice for the location of the EMEA head quarters. Dirk wouldn’t be Dirk if he didn’t ask us not to tweet about unimportant stuff (Goodmorning, and I’m taking a shower now) anymore, but only focus on good technology tweets (of which the majority probably should be on Nutanix, I guess…)

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Next we were updated by Howard Ting (and Dheeraj) and we discussed multiple great topics with the bloggers and Nutanix people. What I think was great is the possibilty to talk to the important people at Nutanix, and know you’re being heard. The Nutanix leadership listens to what the community tells them, and is willing to work with them to make the Nutanix product even better. The discussion on building a Nutanix Community (like the VMware/Citrix/Microsoft communities) was great, and if you were there you know Dheeraj, Howard, Dirk and the others were more then willing to listen, discuss and in the near future will  act on the things said by the bloggers.

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Webscale IT

Dheeraj also talked about the webscale IT concept, and why Nutanix is very suitable for this “upcoming” technology solution. Webscale IT is how Gartner describes  the things happening at companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and so on, which enable them to achieve extreme levels of service delivery. Gartner identifies Web Scale IT in six bullets:

  • industrial data centers (Think BIG)
  • web-oriented architectures (Think REST)
  • programmable management (Think API)
  • agile processes (Think Software Defined)
  • collaborative organization style (think of working as one)
  • and a learning culture (think of Einstein: “Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience”.

If you take a good look at the bullets you know Nutanix is on track for Web Scale IT, and they’ll put a lot of effort in staying a leader in Web Scale IT, and knowing Nutanix they’ll do a damn good job.

If you’re a frequent reader of my blog you know I’m not that fond of the Software Defined Everything thing that’s happening at the moment. I my opinion it’s wrong to think Software changes everything, as does changes are only made possible by the very impressive technology gains made by the hardware vendors. The Web Scale IT naming is something that describes all these things much better if you ask me. Don’t get me wrong, these are awesome times, but that for software as well as hardware.

I had a great time at the brand new Nutanix EMEA Head Quarters. It’s awesome to meet visionairs like Dheeraj and Howard, and notice they are listening to the things told by the community.  Jan was right saying a piece of history was written last week, even if we would look back on it and would say it was only Nutanix history, it still is very impressive what this history reveals…

VMware PEX, PernixData FVP 1.5 and Atlantis ILIO USX

There’s always a lot of gossip around VMware Partner EXchange (PEX), and it’s not any different during this years edition. It all started about 2 weeks ago when Joe Kovar at CRN posted: VMware Limits Some Storage Vendors Presence At VMware PEX. In the post Joe told us that VMware asked Nutanix and Veeam were asked to stay away from PEX, which VMware hosts this week in San Francisco. My good friend Hans de Leenheer did another post on this: VMware uses its right to bear arms! where the replies are of most interest to me… I’m not choosing sites, but Nutanix and Veeam not being present on this Partner Event is very strange, but as always there are most likely two sites of the story…

PernixData announcement

During the event PernixData their Flash Virtualization Platform (FVP) 1.5 software, which includes support for vSphere 5.5, the vSphere webclient and as a result they now support the whole VMware vSphere 5.x family. The way PernixData describes the 1.5 release is:

  • Robust vSphere Support: With FVP supporting VMware vSphere 5.0 to 5.5 now, a customer has the oppertunity to choose the VMware release of their choice.
  • Seamless management through vSphere Web Client: With VMware moving more and towards the Web Client and away from the vCenter Client this move by PernixData is great. Being able to manage you’re complete vSphere environment including the PernixData through the Web Client is a great achievement.
  • Seamless deployment: Installing FVP within ESXi can be done quickly (within 20 minutes) without changes and reboots needed to the VM’s, the hosts or primary storage.
  • Clustered platform compatible with all VMware Operations: It’s important if you’re implementing new software to make sure your normal operation will not be compromised. PernixData FVP 1.5 uses it’s patent pending Flash Cluster Technology to support all VMware operations and products like vMotion, HA, DRS, VDP, SRM, Horizon View and vCloud Director. Making sure you can keep on using VMware vSphere, but in a way you never experienced before.

For a great post on the PernixData FVP 1.5 release please read this post by Chris Wahl: Man Alive! PernixData Unleashes FVP 1.5

And don’t forget to visit PernixData.com and do a trial.

Atlantis Computing announcement

Another big announcement was done by Atlantis Computing during PEX. Atlantis announced their ILIO USX software. Atlantis released the ILIO software a couple of years ago. With the ILIO software Atlantis uses the server RAM to build an in memory storage solution providing Real-Time Compression, Inline Deduplication, Thin provisioning and Fast Clone solutions. Let’s dive a little deeper into the ILIO USX solution

As a VMware consultant I see a lot of customers struggle with the rapid growth of their virtual environments. While more and more application being virtualized, a lot of the customers are struggling with the right buck for the money. Not all environments are greenfield (duh…) and investments made in the near past need to be taken in account when making sure that an enviroment performs the way it should. As already said not everything is greenfield, but in some cases building a new environment along side the “old” one provides the oppertunity to make use of new players on the market like Nutanix and Simplivity. But wait a second, if they can build this, wouldn’t it be possible to this myself also? Yes, with Atlantis ILIO USX you can.

Using their unique In-Memory Storage Technology Atlantis is able to create an In-Memory very high performance solution, but still leverage the underlying storage solution a customer already uses. With the need of an NFS share for the front end, one might think it might need a very large NFS share and let the tiering be done by the storage solution, with USX you have the possibilty to choose the need for storage is seperated, or as Atlantis calls it: “Application Defined Storage Volumes”:

usx-ads

The release is already available, but one must remember that this is a 1.0 release. There are multiple improvements coming in the near future, including :

  • QOS – Quality Of Service (A very cool feature if you ask me)
  • Snapshotting
  • Backup/Archiving
  • DR/Replication

There still are two things that are really cool with ILIO USX:

  • Working alongside VMware Virtual SAN. Where most “caching solution” vendors are looking at ways to talk bad about VMware’s Virtual SAN whereever possible, Atlantis ILIO USX proves it can work with VMware Virtual SAN just fine. More information can be found here: VMware Virtual SAN with Atlantis ILIO USX
  • Working with IBM (the new IBM X6 series) that supports the Diablo UltraDIIMM technology shows the great possiblilties Atlantis ILIO USX offers. With Flash technology provided to leverage the memory channel interface lateny can be in nano seconds in stead of microseconds. And not have to worry of dataloss in case of a system outage…

Awesome annoucements if you ask me, and more then worthy of reading more on this. So here are a couple of posts by my fellow bloggers:

Luca Dell’Oca: Atlantis launches USX. In memory storage for your VMware environment

Marcel van den Berg: Atlantis releases Unified Software Defined Storage ILIO USX

Marco Broeken: Atlantis ILIO USX, In-Memory Performance for Servers

Andrea Mauro: Atlantis ILIO USX – Unified Software-defined Storage

Atlantis Computing: ILIO USX page