Nutanix Xpress, the new HCI product line for SMB

May 25, 2016 - - 0 Comment

Yesterday Nutanix announced a new product line for SMB called Nutanix Xpress. The leader vendor of hyper-converged infrastructure took the smart decision of join a huge market like is SMB.

How does Nutanix define SMB?

The meaning of SMB/SME from size/revenue point of view are completely opposite between US and rest of the globe. As EU citizen and having had the chance to see how is the market across Europe, I believe the Nutanix’s approach to cover the spectrum of SMB across the globe is the right one.

How Does Nutanix Define SMB?

Source: Nutanix

What Is Nutanix Xpress?

Nutanix Xpress is a new product line with dedicated teams. It’s NOT a platform of the current Enterprise product line, so it means the product will follow a different release program and also a business unit focused on it.

The solution has the following “limitations”, it means if you require bigger scalability and enterprise features, your choice must be the Enterprise product line (NX Series):

  • Minimum 3 nodes per cluster.
  • Up to 4 nodes per cluster.
  • Up to 2 clusters.

It means you can have up to 8 nodes. If you expect on the future to add more nodes, currently doesn’t exist any kind of upgrade to NX. Nutanix is working to provide this option on future product releases.

New Product Line!

Source: Nutanix

Software – What’s different?

Like you can expect, to achieve a reduction on cost the vendor needs to cut down from somewhere. The easy way is reduce hardware resources, but it’s not enough to be cost-attractive. Many vendors achieve to be competitive because they release different editions of their software with different features on each one. The picture below shows SMB vs. Enterprise product lines:

Software - What's different?

Source: Nutanix

Platform SX-1065 Specifications

The appliance can be configured with the required resources using the same partner tool for Enterprise product line, and it will shipped from factory straight to customer. Nutanix provides an example bundles:

Platform: 1065, Configure to Order

Source: Nutanix

Pricing

The starting price is at $25,000 for the low spec. bundle. The price includes the Software (Xpress Edition), 3-nodes (SX-1065), and Support 3-years (Xpress Support)

Pricing - Suggested Customer Price

Source: Nutanix

Xpress Support

The team providing the support for Nutanix Xpress product line will be the same than for Enterprise. The SMBs will enjoy the same support, it means same quality, same engineers, lot of expertise behind that. The table below shows the differences between supports:

Xpress Support - SMBs get access to world class Nutanix support

Source: Nutanix

Xpress Timeline

The first quotes could be done from June 1st, but it won’t be until early july when Nutanix starts to dispatch the orders. In the meanwhile you can start to take a look the Xpress website to see if it’s the SMB solution you was waiting for.

timeline

Source: Nutanix

Don’t miss the launch event by June 28th. It will be a LIVE Virtual and you can register now!

nutanixevent

Source: Nutanix

Conclusion

I’m excited to see how Nutanix has heard partners and customers to create a new solution for SMBs. I believe the cost vs. features is now more competitive than ever, and many customers will have the chance to take the advantage of this hyper-converged technology.

The challenges I see for partners is how to educate customers to understand which features are really important for them. We can see across many customers how they acquired some solution and using just a low percent of its features.

It’s time to see how moves other vendors like EMC/VMware, and also other players like SimpliVity.

 

Dell PowerEdge C6100: A Cost-Effective Home Lab – Part 1

May 24, 2016 - - 0 Comment

For a long time I was looking to build a new cost-effective home lab. Since I acquired my Lenovo Thinkpad W530 with 32GB RAM and 2 x SSD drives in 2013, it was okay for 2 years until the virtual appliances started to consume more and more resources (vRealize Automation 7 virtual appliance 4 x vCPU and 18GB RAM).

1st approach

My first thoughts were to buy a new tower server with dual processor motherboard (just one 10-cores CPU at the beginning) with at least 128GB RAM, 1 x 256 NVMe and 1 x 1TB SSD, and run everything nested. These thoughts had a starting cost of at least $2,000 and I wasn’t sure how good would be the performance. I looked vendors like Supermicro, Dell or HP but like I said the initial cost was high.

2nd approach

During an annual team meeting a co-worker told me someone in our team bought an used server really cheap, and he was happy with its performance. I talked with this colleague (@rynardtspies) and he provided me an eBay shop where they sell used components (servers, memories, hard drives, etc.)

When I visited their website for first time, they were advertising the Dell PowerEdge C6100 on different bundles. When I saw the picture, the first flash that came into my mind was, HCI (Hyper-Converged Infrastructure). I thought it was the hardware model from Dell for Nutanix, but I was wrong. The Dell C-Series is for HPC (High-Performance Computing) and after a bit more researching, seemed like this kind of servers were decommissioned at a famous cloud provider after finish their leasing.

Click to enlarge the picture of C6100

Rear – Dell PowerEdge C6100

Click to enlarge the picture of C6100

Front – Dell PowerEdge C6100

Conclusion

After research around few websites of sellers and also the largest C6100 community, I decided to buy a block with 3-nodes like you could see above. The price was £585 (taxes incl.) and to be honest, I think for the kind of hardware you are getting, it’s really worthy. You can find the BoM (Bill of Materials) at the end of the post.

This blog post was just an introduction about the home lab I bought a month ago. In future publications I will show the additional components I bought to increase the specifications and get the minimum requirements and performance to run Software-Defined Storage solutions like VMware VSAN, EMC ScaleIO, or Nutanix Community Edition.

BoM Dell PE C6100

Welcome to my New Project

May 23, 2016 - - 4 Comments

A very long time ago I bought the domain “joseluisgomez.com” with the idea of a new Project and get more visibility around the IT community and the readers could link the blog with my name. Since I acquired this around mid of June 2013, I’ve not had the chance to spend much time writing blog posts, just prepare the structure and look and feel of this. Another reason is I wanted to start writing in English to make the blog available to everyone and not just for Spanish speakers. Now that I feel more confident with English after spend the last two years living in UK, I believe it’s the time to start  and even more now that I bought a home lab a month ago (Dell PowerEdge C6100) and want to write lot of stuff around that.

The blog is going to be focused on Automation and Software-Defined solutions, since those are the buzzwords we can hear every day in the community and meetings with customers. Also, I expect to publish product reviews but always trying to be impartial.

Like many of you already know, I have a Spanish IT blog called “blog.e2h.net“. In the future I expect to merge its content within this blog and just keep one. Don’t worry, this blog will have the blog posts in both languages, so I’ll keep my Spanish speaker followers engaged like before. I cannot assure you I’ll write every week, but I’ll try my best.

Thanks so much to those friends whom pushed me to write in English. Also, apologies in advance for my grammar mistakes and mix UK and US English. I hope this new approach helps me to improve grammatically as well.