Nutanix: Storage Software Portfolio Review

Cloud software provider Nutanix distinguished itself just over a decade ago when it debuted the first-to-market hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) cloud storage platform, a system that enables the distribution of applications and workloads across a cluster of storage hardware. 

In 2021, Nutanix pivoted away from the manufacturing of hardware appliances and refocused on delivering its subscription-based, software-defined storage products — a business that netted the company just over $1 billion in revenue from the previous year.

Today, the field of HCI vendors has broadened, so let’s examine what makes Nutanix an attractive solution:

Hybrid Cloud Offerings

  • Distributed storage: Co-locates data and applications to more efficiently distribute workload across servers. Data is dynamically stored using the fastest drives for the most active data.
  • AHV virtualization: License-free, enterprise-grade virtualization.
  • Karbon Kubernetes orchestration: Enterprise-grade Kubernetes management, enabling rapid deployment and scaling of containerized applications.
  • Leap disaster recovery: Data recovery solution that claims to reduce storage footprint and network utilization by as much as 70%.
  • Flow microsegmentation: Software-defined, application-oriented network segmentation to increase security against cyber threats and malware.
  • Nutanix clusters: Hybrid-cloud architecture that seamlessly integrates application deployment across private and public cloud servers. Manageable from a single pane.

Unified Storage Offerings

  • Files storage: Straightforward storage, pay for what you use, rapidly deployable and scalable.
  • Object storage: S3-compatible, scalable, high-performance object storage.
  • Volumes block storage: Block storage that bridges virtual and physical workloads.
  • Mine backup appliance: Turnkey data protection solution, with support for Amazon S3, public cloud storage, and magnetic tape backups.

Nutanix Partners

Nutanix’s partner program, Elevate, is focused on creating an ecosystem for resellers, distributors, and managed service providers (MSPs) under a single architecture with a shared set of tools, resources, and marketing platforms. 

“Elevate encompasses all the support and resources I could have asked for, including a re-imagining of deal registration processes that will enable our teams to be successful teaming with Nutanix. It is very comprehensive,” an Elevate partner states. 

Elevate has hundreds of partners across the globe, including the Japanese electronics company Ricoh, IT solutions giant Sirius, cloud computing solutions provider Revel Technology, IT provider CDW, and IT provider Fujisoft.

Nutanix Storage Software Use Case

The Home Depot faced an aging IT infrastructure that performed poorly and was expensive to manage. Its legacy architecture was straining under capacity demands, and IT was spreading workloads across new server pods until resources ran out and application performance degraded.

To modernize its IT backend, The Home Depot went with Nutanix’s enterprise cloud platform. Along with new in-house developed applications, Home Depot integrated Oracle databases, Microsoft SQL servers, Cloud Foundry, and other solutions managed by Nutanix’s single-paned Prism Pro IT platform. The resulting consolidation of hardware and software reduced operating and capital costs, expedited capacity provisions from three weeks to one hour, and simplified controls over all the corporation’s technology management down to a single console.

“Nutanix not only converges technologies, their software has enabled us to converge infrastructure, teams, and opportunities. By combining IT specialists into a single operations group, we can now see our end-to-end environment, work collaboratively, and make better decisions for the business,” says Kevin Priest, senior director at The Home Depot.

This was no small feat. Home Depot employs more than 400,000 people across 2,200 storefronts in North America, along with managing an e-commerce site that must integrate with each store, warehouse, transportation provider, and 3PL partner. By leveraging the Nutanix HCI solutions, Home Depot moved its non-production and production workloads into a multicloud backend, cutting server expenses and reducing total costs of ownership by nearly half. This enabled Home Depot to consolidate its server, storage, and vitalization teams into a single group that managed operations.

Priest praises Nutanix for its timely and responsive support team and its ability to connect the customer with an experienced professional who understands the problem. 

“With many IT vendors, you progress from someone who is only there to route your call, to a second person who can take notes on your case, and then hopefully to another person who’s able to solve your problems. Nutanix has set the standard of what customer-centric technology support should look like,” Priest says.

User Reviews of Nutanix Storage Software

Overall, users rate Nutanix with an average of 4.8/5 stars, with frequent praise made for Nutanix software’s ease of installation and reliability, according to user reviews at Gartner Peer Reviews.

Similarly,  users give Nutanix an 8.9/10, highlighting its responsive support, ease of installation, and frequent updates, though acknowledging Nutanix can be an expensive solution, according to reviews at TrustRadius.

Users also compare Nutanix favorably to its competitors in terms of service offerings, according to reviews at Gartner Peer Insights. Against Windows Server 2016 Datacenter Edition, Nutanix is seen to have better service and support and better evaluation and contracting. Versus HPE SimpliVity, Nutanix is favored for its support and ease of integration and deployment. Similar sentiments are conveyed when ranked against VMware, Cisco Hyperflex, and Red Hat HCI.

Industry Recognition of Nutanix

Nutanix has received several awards for its services. Among them:

  • One of the “Top Four Support Websites” of 2021: From ASP Online
  • Awarded by Gartner leader in the “Magic Quadrant” for its hyperconverged infrastructure software five years in a row.
  • And the 2020 “Global Technology Partner of the Year”: Palo Alto Networks

Nutanix in the Software Storage Market

Software-defined infrastructure was gauged as a $12 billion industry in 2020, according to IDC. Using a valuation based exclusively on software, and exempting hardware offerings (since Nutanix is now a software-only company), Nutanix has assessed its position in the market as the industry leader, owning a full quarter of the market share. Its closest competitors under this valuation are VMWare (15%) and IBM — Red Hat (10%), with NetApp, Microsoft, and all others making up the latter half of the market.

Tonya Chin, Nutanix’s SVP for corporate marketing and investor relations, reports that these findings, sourced from IDC figures, are “the result of extensive work from IDC to completely reevaluate a quickly evolving market. One that required rethinking the status quo to keep up with the pace of technology innovation and sales.”

Under the traditional, hardware-centric valuation of the market from Statista, Dell owns nearly a third of the hyperconverged systems market, with HPE second at 13.5%, and Nutanix at 10.3%. IDC reports similar figures for the same year.

Litton Power
Litton Power
Litton Power is a writer and public affairs consultant. He has an extensive background in science, technology, and the energy sector and was a former science communicator at Idaho National Laboratory. He lives in Tennessee, where he spends his free time hiking, camping, and building furniture.

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