As revealed today, the Nutanix juggernaut thunders on with the announcement of a further round of investment totalling $101 million, bringing the collective investment in the company so far to $172.2m across four rounds of funding.
The hyper-converged product space is extremely active, in terms of funds invested. As recently as November 2013 I wrote about SimpliVity, a Nutanix competitor raising further funds to reach $101m in investments in total – a remarkably identical figure to that raised by Nutanix in just one round. The appeal of the technology is easy to see. It simplifies the need to deploy dedicated separate storage arrays, reducing hardware costs and management overhead. Although these startups have had significant funds invested into them, the marketplace for similar solutions isn’t wide. There’s Nutanix, SimpliVity, Scale Computing, Pivot3 and Compuverde all doing similar things in terms of eliminating the need for dedicated storage equipment and distributing storage resources across multiple nodes on their supplied hardware. Other software solutions exist but they are not quite as integrated as the ones just listed.
Nutanix perhaps still has a lead on its competitors, especially with the announcement yesterday of general availability support for Windows Server 2012 R2, providing support for the three main server hypervisors in the marketplace today (the others being VMware’s vSphere and KVM). Nutanix have also been keen to acquire VMware expertise, as highlighed by Chris Mellor just recently.
Rather than focus on support within a hypervisor platform (as VMware’s VSAN will do), Nutanix appear to be working towards a strategy of building a new data centre architecture that doesn’t have a dependency on a particular flavour of hypervisor. That in itself represents some challenges and opportunities as heterogeneous hypervisor environments still need to have common management platforms and so plugins to the existing vendor management tools (e.g. vCenter/SCVMM) won’t be enough. This means there’s still plenty of scope for Nutanix to evolve their offerings further as time goes on.
The Architects’s View
This latest round of funding is an endorsement for every vendor playing in the hyper-converged marketplace. Nutanix appears to be leading the charge, already surpassing $100m in sales. The next challenge will be keeping ahead of the competition, including the traditional storage vendors who won’t take kindly to having their core business taken away from them. Interesting times indeed!
- Tech News: Hitachi, HP and SimpliVity
- Nutanix building elite squad of crack VMware designers (The Register, 15 November 2013)
- Nutanix extends hypervisor choice for leading converged infrastructure platform (Nutanix Website, 13 January 2014)
- Nutanix Announces $101m Series D Funding Round at Approximate $1bn Valuation (Nutanix Website, 14 January 2014)