Yesterday Nutanix has announced two new models to be added to their existing catalog. The two series, named NX-1000 and NX-6000, goes at the opposite edges of their catalog, just like the names suggest.
The first model, NX-1000, differs from the primary model 3000 for the lack of the Fusion-IO card, a lower amount of memory (128 Gb maximum intead of 256), and the use of Sandy Bridge E5-2620 CPUs with 6 cores instead of 2660 with 8 cores. All the changes have been made to offer a huge reduction on the final price, so now a single node (remember, a Nutanix cluster needs at least 3 nodes) has a list price of 22500 USD. So, now you can create a starter kit with 67500 USD, or even less with discounts and offers.
the use cases for a model like this are obviously all those where you do not need the compute power of the bigger models, but you need to lower the price. Nutanix cites examples like branch offices, retail stores, where a single cluster can be used to run the main services, and a small amount of virtual desktops for the users. I can surely add, it’s also a perfect fit for designs where you need a management cluster in vCloud, where the production VMs are stored and executed on the upper models. With the storage it has onboard, a 3-node cluster che hold natively up to 6.6 TB, becoming even more with compression. Price per GB is around 10 USD per GB, without counting compression.
the second model, named NX-6000, is instead designed for situations requiring more storage than compute power. One of the objections made to Nutanix with their previous models, was the storage limit of a single node. Each 3000 nodes has 5TB of local storage. If a single VM was larger than this, this space was anyway available by using the disk space of another node, and than accessed remotely. Technically this was completely ok, but the differences in the access speed between local and remote data could be a problem for performances. Now the 6000 series has some really interesting news: in the same 2U chassis format, you now have only 2 nodes instead of 4 as usual. Disks, as you can see from this screencap I took from their launch video, are now 3.5″ so they were able to use 4 TB units. With 4 disks per node (plus 2 SSD disks for tiering activities), each node can now hold up to 17 TB of data.
With a list price at 60000 USD per node, a starter kit with 3 nodes costs 180.000 USD, and offers a minimum guaranteed space of 25 TB. This can increase I think up to 100 TB (since Nutanix claims you can reach 70 TB with two nodes). The price per GB is down to 1.8 USD per GB. This is a price good also for services like DRaaS.
First of all, I like the fact NUtanix has not stopped with the first “one size fits all” model, but they are developing a complete catalog with different models targeting different requirements. This gives customers answers to their requests for low performance/low price models, or for the need of higher storage space per node without the obligation to buy additional nodes.
Second, they kept the 2U external chassis design. This keeps the “building block” idea of Nutanix when you see the chassis in place, even if clearly to build a 3 nodes cluster with the NX-6000 you will need 4U of rack space.
Third, the software is the same for all the different models. This means you can mix and match different models inside the same infrastructure, using each of them for different services.
I think for example about a vCloud Director platform with a management cluster made with 3 * NX-1000 nodes, and the production cluster with several NX-3000 nodes. Or VDI deployments where there are both light desktops and heavy desktops. Or again, to use NX-6000 models for the Disaster Recovery of a production cluster made with the NX-3000. we can go on for hours…
I’m waiting for some new model soon anyway, for different reasons (I thought about these reading public informations, I have no inside information from Nutanix):
– Nutanix has decided to go big at the upcoming VMworld, and since they launched this model now, they will surely have another model at least to be launched at VMworld
– in this design on the left, they presented the 6000 model as unbalanced towards Storage. In the same way we can think about a slider moving towards the Compute part, so with more computing power per node? Maybe a 4 socket model with less storage…
– In their catalog, we now have models named 1000, 2000, 3000 and 6000. there is a gap to be filled with 4000 and 5000, don’t you think? 🙂