Last year Nimble Storage was the poster boy for rapid growth and success. But that was last year. This year there’s a new poster boy: Nutanix.

I spoke to VP Howard Ting last year about what was driving Nutanix. After all, the concept of a building block comprising storage, networking and computes is not new, or seen much success in the past.

Most customers want to tune their infrastructure to optimize application performance. But it seems Nutanix has found a new sweet spot in scale-out architectures.

Their product implements a Google filesystem style of scale-out. Not surprising, since one of the cofounders was a engineer on GFS.

Extreme scale with low entry-level costs. How extreme? The company has just booked an order for a 1,600 node system.

Not bad for a company that’s been shipping 2 years.

Business drivers
Howard’s take on the rapid growth covered several areas.

  • $130k average deal size is larger than Nimble’s
  • Global footprint: over 25% of the business is overseas
  • VDI cost-effectiveness – ≈$200/seat – is a big winner
  • 15 minute deployment of new nodes – half a day for new installs
  • High-end demand from G2000
  • Demand across many verticals
  • VMware is a major driver
  • New software features are free to all customers
  • Big data apps – think Hadoop – also popular

And they’re just getting started. Expect more hypervisor support. Improved UI. Updated hardware. More software features.

The StorageMojo take
I was skeptical of Nutanix when briefed on them over a year ago. Scale is great, but one building block seemed too limited.

But with continued investment in a broader product line – and they just scored another $101M – they’ve made me a believer.

The other surprise: their success in large organizations. It took Isilon years to get serious traction in the enterprise, but Nutanix is moving much faster. Why? The apps are there to drive adoption, but I suspect that cloud services has forced many IT shops to be much more open to new vendors.

That’s a Very Good Thing.

Courteous comments welcome, of course. Sadly, I haven’t done any work for Nutanix, but I like them anyway.