It’s not just because the company got another $140 million in its pocket this week. Nutanix believes its obsession with web-scale infrastructure will continue to set it apart from EVO.
“Web scale is not entirely about how large a cluster you can build. It’s about the underlying technology,” says Greg Smith, the company’s senior director of product marketing. Nutanix’s Virtual Computing Platform was built to be highly distributed. At its core are elements such as Cassandra databases and a MapReduce framework for handling massive swaths of data. It’s inherently deployable at web scale.
Announced Monday at VMworld, EVO is VMware’s model for “hyper-converged” infrastructure, consisting of prefab appliances and racks that combine computing, storage, and networking — and VMware’s vSphere and vSAN software. It encroaches on the turf of converged-infrastructure players such as Nutanix and Simplivity.
But EVO is starting out with small deployments. EVO:RAIL, VMware’s first design, is a 2-rack-unit that’s more like a starter kit. EVO will grow to bigger sizes, but it will take time — EVO:RACK, which was on display at VMworld, doesn’t seem likely to ship before next year.
Then there’s also the fact that EVO is likely to always be tied to VMware’s ESX hypervisor and VMware’s management tools, whereas Nutanix and others support multiple environments, Smith says. Finally, he notes that Nutanix’s gear is configurable, with a lot of options for trading off memory for CPUs, for instance.
It’s important to remember, though, that EVO is just starting out. Its real power might be in its potential to bring a lot of big vendors such as Dell into converged infrastructure.
The Convergence Boom
Converged infrastructure certainly seems to be a booming business. For instance, it’s propelled Cisco, through the VCE joint venture, to become the fourth-largest server vendor worldwide and the No. 1 vendor of blade servers in the Americas.
Then there’s Nutanix, which recently reported a run rate of $200 million in bookings from its 800 customers. It started the year by announcing a $101 million Series D round; after adding this week’s haul, the company has raised $312 million all told.
“At that end of the market, we have to sort of give them credit as the early leader,” VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said, a side comment made during a press conference Monday.
Gelsinger added that he expects VCE istelf to use EVO, especially as the platform becomes more high-end.
One thing to watch about EVO is the partner list, because Gelsinger says it’s going to grow.
In fact, during Monday’s press conference, he got asked about one name specifically — HP, which is VMware’s partner elsewhere but didn’t make the EVO list. Gelsinger avoided saying anything about HP specifically but did note that EVO is very specific in its hardware configuration, meaning not every vendor can support it right now. Some might still might be ramping support for the Intel Haswell architecture, he said. (Which of course implies that the EVO specs require Haswell.)
I pointed out in a previous story that Quanta isn’t on the initial list either, and that’s the company that was brazenly showing off EVO:RACK on the VMworld expo floor. So, being off the list doesn’t mean a lot.
And don’t miss more VMworld 2014 news SDNCentral covered this week:
- VMworld Newswire: NSX, Storage, and a Touch of DevOps
- Nutanix Raises the Stakes by Raising $140M More
- Quanta Shows Off a VMware EVO:RACK (But Doesn’t Ship Yet)
- Dell & F5 Strike Partnerships With VMware NSX
- VMworld: VMware Gets Its Hands Dirty in Hardware, OpenStack, and Containers
- VMware NSX Puts the Spotlight on Security
- VMware Declares Docker Containers Are Friends, Not Foes