FEATURE Nutanix appliance

As solid state drives increase in capacity, data centre equipment manufacturers are finding they can be packed in devices that used to have only spinning disks or hybrid configurations.

The latest to offer an all-flash design is Nutanix Inc., which on Thursday announced its NX-9000 converged server/storage appliance series for organizations that want the performance of SSDs full-time.

“It’s ideally suited for highly transactional databases,” said Adam Moreland, a company product marketing manager. “We’re really targeting customers looking for predictable and consistent and low latency across their entire data stack.”

Like the other Nutanix models, the NX-9000 is a 2U-sized appliance, with room for two nodes. In this case each node has dual Intel E5-2690v2 processors. There’s room for six solid state 800 GB or 1.6 TB  drives, giving total raw capacity of 9.6 TB or just under 20 TB respectively . There’s room for up to 512 GB of memory. For network connectivity there are two 10 GbE ports, two 1 GbE ports and one 10/100.

Each node costs US$110,000.

The company says all of the appliances’ intelligence is in its software, and runs on off the shelf, non-proprietary hardware. The platform eliminates the need for network-based storage, with each node running a hypervisor and a controller. Storage is pooled and made available to all virtual machines, making it easy to scale for virtual desktops and big data applications.

The Nutanix operating system, which includes compression, deduplication, backup, and the ability to asynchronously replicate workloads onto a different data centre, comes in three versions: Starter, Pro and Ultimate, which have different capabilities. The upcoming version 4.1 of the Ultimate edition will include Metro Availability, the company said Thursday.

According to senior product marketing manager Prabu Ramadran, that gives disaster recovery and high availability across two separate data centres. “Even if you lose one site you can bring up your data on another site with near zero data loss,” he said.

Metro Availability, which is managed from the Nutanix Prism console, works on data centres separated by no more than 400 km, with a round trip latency of 5 ms or less.

Canadian Nutanix customers include Access Communications, Universitas Management Inc. and the Prairie North Health Region.

Products can be bought through distributors Ingram Micro, Promark, Arrow Electronics, and solution provider Zycom, of Kingston, Ont..



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