Service Provider Cloud

Nutanix Takes Hyper-Convergence Downscale

Nutanix is going downscale, spreading the hyper-convergence religion beyond its traditional customer base of global 2,000 enterprises. The company is introducing a hyper-convergence server for SMBs as well as a new desktop virtualization server for midsized enterprises.

Nutanix Xpress, announced Tuesday, is the first product the company is putting out for small to midsized business (SMBs), Nikita Maheshwari, Nutanix Inc. senior product manager, tells Light Reading.

Hyper-converged servers combine compute, storage, virtualization and networking into a fabric for simplified deployment and management, scalability, flexibility and resiliency. Companies including Nutanix and SimpliVity pioneered the technology, and big companies including Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL) have more recently gotten into the act. (See Cisco Storms the Hyperconverged Data Center.)

SMBs, served by IT staff of five or fewer people, are consumed day-to-day with just keeping the infrastructure running and need operational simplicity. "IT managers for these businesses tell me, 'Right now I'm up from 6:00 a.m. and going until 8:00 p.m. and every minute there's something going on,' " Mashewari says. "Anything that saves me time and lets me focus on end users and their needs rather than turning knobs, is something that I'm going for."

Nutanix makes the bold claim that Xpress is simple enough "that a single IT professional can install and manage an organization's entire IT infrastructure, freeing valuable time to focus on initiatives that directly impact the top line."

Nutanix defines the SMB market as companies fewer than 500 employees, with revenue of $100 million or less. As with its bigger products, Nutanix is crossing all verticals with Xpress, but sees particular interest from healthcare, financial services, education, local government and retail.

The product can power five to 500 virtual machines, and can run "nearly any virtualized application for SMBs in less than 60 minutes," the company says. Xpress supports Nutanix's AHV hypervisor and VM management, as well as backup to public cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Nutanix provides three years of support.

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Xpress is priced starting at $25,000 for a three-node product and will be available in July. In the future, Nutanix plans to offer its SMB customers the ability to move workloads between the public and private cloud, but for now it's sticking with backup and DR.

Separately, Nutanix on Tuesday announced InstantOn, a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) product for mid-market companies, produced in partnership with Cisco. "For mid-market, VDI is unattainable and expensive," Maheshwari says. "We hope that by providing a good bundle, one bundle that takes care of everything, we can bring VDI to the mid-market."

InstantOn comprises the Citrix XenDesktop VDI Edition, Nutanix enterprise cloud platform including Nutanix's AHV virtualization, and three years of support, priced at about $500 per desktop. Nutanix claims the server can be deployed in four hours. "Midsized enterprises get responsive desktops and applications, starting with as few as 300 users and linearly scaling to the thousands," Nutanix says.

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— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, Light Reading.

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