Today Nutanix Inc announced another (series E) round of funding from undisclosed investors to bring the total investment in the company to $312m (see Codex entry for Nutanix for details).
There’s no doubting the timing of this announcement is no accident, coming in the same week that VMware announced it’s entry into the hyper-converged market with EVO. Nutanix are building their war chest to take on competition from VMware and their vast partner and customer base.
The question does have to be asked; “where can Nutanix go next?” The evolution of the company has seen them start with the “No SAN” message, evolve into hyper-converged and then move their marketing message on to “web scale”. Keeping creative and ahead of the curve will continue to be a struggle. Up to now Nutanix has built onto VMware (and Hyper-V and KVM) to bring value add through a distributed object-based file system (NDFS) and with management wrappers to simplify installation, configuration and deployment.
Perhaps the next stage of evolution is to remove some of the reliance on VMware and diversify their solutions. This could mean looking at containers and/or PaaS style solutions to meet the diversification of virtual workloads. This is of course speculation and in the meantime the company will likely continue to develop tools and features that allow their solutions to continue to scale to Enterprise-class levels of deployment.
The Architect’s View
Nutanix have done well to reach a $200m annual run rate in a new product category. However VMware and others want a piece of the action. Nutanix are going to have to continue to innovate to keep ahead and that means doing things and going places that VMware as a software company simply can’t. It will be fascinating to see what the next 12 months in this product category will bring.
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