Andrew Reichman, an analyst with the market research firm Forrester, said Nutanix's product is more similar to bundled offerings such as EMC and Cisco's vBlock offering, which combines storage from EMC, virtualization from VMware, and servers and networking equipment from Cisco. Hewlett-Packard, with its Converged Systems offering, and NetApp, with its Flexpod product, also offer bundled offerings for virtualized environments.
The difference with Nutanix's product is that it's built from the ground up as one combined solution, all based on an x86 architecture.
"In case of EMC, HP or NetApp, they're taking the same storage products they've been selling for years and repackaging for virtual server environments," Reichman said. "I think Nutanix's product is a powerful solution. It's a powerful architecture concept."
Reichman admitted that the price point appears high at first, but he said considering it has a price of about $7 per gigabyte of usable storage, and it can be managed under a single management interface, the Complete Cluster is "reasonably competitively priced."
"It's not eye-poppingly low, but it's decent. And, that's a list price," he said. "If you paid 50% of that as a street price, then we're talking $3.5 per usable gig, then it's a very attractive price."
Like EMC's vBlock or NetApp's Flexpod offering, the selling point of Nutanix's product is not necessarily the acquisition cost as much as it is its combined architecture, which allows fewer people to manage more resources for lower total cost of ownership, Reichman said.
"The complexity of building out a hybrid of multiple vendor's products all meeting on your data center floor is a huge cost," he said. "Especially when you consider the scale-out aspect of this product, it makes it very attractive."
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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