Next Generation for Storage Architectures?

Storage Cloud ConvergenceLast week I got a visit from a Nutanix (www.nutanix.com) Regional Rep, who used to work with me and I trust. It was the first time that hear about them and their products, And we were chatting about why they consider, as a company, SAN/NAS architectures will disappear eventually. Nutanix consider new ideas as distributed platforms and they called themselves the “evolution for convergence”. I want to say I was really delighted, but not impress, to see new products like this.

Our team is working to develop new storage platform (block storage on-demand) to get more performance at lower cost using “open source”, the software we chose bring pretty good capabilities for scale-out, cloud computing integration, redundancy and performance. We decide to use only SSD, thanks the lower cost they offer “today” to compete against traditional block storage. However, this is still a networked storage solution, is not a distributed direct attached storage (DAS) managed centralized and with all capabilities that traditional vendors offer for data management (i.e thin-provisioning, snapshots, de-duplication…) as Nutanix daresay to do as a converged platform.

Nutanix claim to deliver better performance, I firmly believe they can do that, we are talking about DAS, and DAS always offer more dedicated and closer storage resources to computing. Nutanix claim to be cheaper that traditional vendor, I believe it too, because, despite they have their own appliance, it is a very commodity Intel box with a beautiful branded face,  not a complex and expensive RISC hardware architecture manufactured by them with pride claiming to be the most secure in the industry… Don’t missunderstand me, I am not trying to hit anybody with this last sentence 😉

I am having a feeling: Is This the starting point of something? A new generation of storage technology?. this could be a strong change for this market, I can not stop to think the value still on the software (big difference with old-fashion architectures based exclusively on hardware). My next thought: Why do Nutanix need the appliance? why not leave it to work in any commodity x86 box?  Could this be more simple and cheaper through “bring your own hardware” model? Complete convergence reduce to one box for computing and storage. IMHO this could be more disruptive … It’s faster to work with the local disk than a low latency private network.

Anyway, I think Nutanix is doing well and I very excited to see how the storage market could answer to this kind of development.

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