Hyper convergence is here to stay: Sudeesh Nair, Nutanix

Hyper convergence is usually defined just around storage. But Nutanix aims to converge computing, virtualization and storage into a resilient, software-defined solution with rich machine intelligence, says Sudeesh Nair, president, Nutanix. 

Sejuti Das Aug 30th 2016

For organizations that want the agility of public cloud infrastructure along with security of hosting hardware on their own premises, hyper convergence will be the ideal choice. Hyper converged infrastructure is being adopted by organizations of all shapes and sizes, mainly to simplify their back-end systems and to cut down on power usage and rack space. Indian analysts are expecting hyper convergence to take off in a big way—the market is expected to be worth nearly $5 billion by the year 2019.

According to Sudeesh Nair, president of Nutanix, hyper convergence is an interim step, and not a destination. He says, “To achieve a public cloud experience in datacenters, hyper convergence is merely the first step.” Currently, with two strategic acquisitions of PernixData and Calm.io, the company is accelerating the delivery of a seamless Enterprise Cloud Platform. Nair spoke to ComputerWorld about how Nutanix is positioned in this space and what sets it apart from competition.

How unique is hyper convergence as a technology?

Hyper convergence is an interim step, and not a destination. As the emergence of public cloud is changing the consumption model, customers nowadays are expecting to have a public cloud experience in their data centers. To achieve that hyper convergence is merely the first step, because it deals with storage, which is the most complex part of the application. And, we call it the ‘enterprise cloud.’

We are starting our journey in this space with storage as the first application. We have started to build the market, and aim to bring the Amazon experience in our customers’ data centers. Customers are slowly embracing this market, and realizing that hyper convergence is here to stay.

According to several reports, Nutanix has been owning close to 50 percent of the hyper convergence market, which makes us by far the largest player in this space. Today hyper convergence is defined just around storage, but we at Nutanix, aim to converge computing, virtualization and storage into a resilient, software-defined solution with rich machine intelligence. Our enterprise cloud platform is uniquely built using web-scale engineering and consumer-grade designing to deliver agility, resilience, fractional consumption, and invisible operations to our customers.

What sets Nutanix apart from competition in the market?

It is very easy to grow as a large company, but it is always hard to survive in that position. I believe for a company to survive as an independent entity in this competitive market, it has to be relentlessly focused on innovation and should keep disrupting itself before the market disrupts it. To achieve that success, companies need to have a great culture.

Nutanix tends to not focus on competition in terms of product or technology, the real differentiation for us is our culture. Our culture depends on how we treat our employees, partners, customers and stakeholders. With such moves, companies will survive and will definitely do well in their space. We, at Nutanix, aim to build a company for our customers, partners and employees.

Also read: Nutanix President: India, an opportunity for innovation and to hire the best

How do you see the hyperconvergence space shaping up in the foreseeable future?

Firstly, from hardware and technology innovation part, Nutanix is making a significant participation with Intel. Therefore, we will getting more close to flash related technologies. With flash getting faster, companies cannot afford to retain old architecture, and that is when hyper converged and web scale architecture will become significant. In short, we will be riding the innovation curve that Intel is driving.

Secondly, Nutanix’s real innovation is majorly on the software space. First with the app mobility packet, which is essentially delivering Amazon like architecture inside the datacenter allowing applications to go back and forth. Second on the sides of manageability, where we absolutely focus on orchestration, automation, and elevating the conversation to applications. In turn this will make the IT infrastructure invisible, so that CIOs and IT leaders can focus only on the applications.

What are your priorities moving forward?

Things are changing so fast in the IT industry, it is very difficult to predict the future. Whenever a company is built one has to think whether the company wants to be an independent entity, or wants to be sold off. Not everyone gets the chance of building a company that lasts. There are always some issues that are out of one’s hand, such as market situation, timing etcetera.

Since inception we have aimed to build a lasting company, and when we see the market, timing and luck on our side, it becomes imperative for us to build a company of lasting value. Currently, we are operating in almost 90 countries, and recently we have also released our S-1 to go public by next year. We are growing at 90 percent year over year rate, and such growth indicates that we have tapped on something that customers demand. Presently, we are absolutely focused on innovating and disrupting ourselves, and continue to build a company where people choose to work.