NOS: The CIA of Storage

The Nutanix Operating System(NOS) is what helps to form the Zen state of compute and storage that runs the Nutanix Distributed File System. NOS is radically different than any other solution on the market today because it does something that no one has figured out, it keeps the intelligence of the OS local to both the compute and storage. The ability of NOS to make decisions on the same wire as the compute and storage is what gives Nutanix the ability to scale without limits and with linear performance.

Beautiful state when you are one with everything

Beautiful state when you are one with everything

Other companies are “trying” to use local flash but I haven’t seen anything really compelling. All of the traditional legacy storage companies end up like the first 1:30 of the below video. Hightower being a monolithic storage array trying to fit into today’s servers.

Compute along with local IO are a reality today but it doesn’t make any sense if the intelligence of the system is sitting in the back seat. Telling a customer that they can only use PCI-e for reads doesn’t seem like a compelling solution. Its like letting the CIA to do surveillance and then not letting them take action(writes). The other one I like is telling a customer to install an agent in all of there 10,000 VM’s so they can use flash that lives over a wire. It leaves you asking why bother?

NOS also makes the best use of your budget, commodity hardware. Commodity hardware beats in price and performance, its simple economies of scale. Companies that turn profit on how well their data centers are ran, don’t use expensive, overpriced specialized parts. Go ask Google and Facebook what is sitting in their servers. I bet you could easily go buy the same parts. The catch is having the software to scale it and to monitor it. Once you have these to things, commodity hardware allows you focus on features and value instead of getting into a hardware arms race. Nutanix has had three major releases in the span of 1 and half years. That is something that is unheard of in the industry.

While Nutanix parts have a very high MTBF(Mean Time Between Failure) NOS was built to expect failure. All the components are replaceable and data is protected with utmost importance. Check out my article here for more details.

Item MTBF (hrs)
Memory 1,100,000
Motherboard 200,986
Fans 236,703
HDD 1,400,000
CPU 2,100,000
PSU 546,694
SSD 1,200,000
Intel 910 PCIe SSD card 1,100,000
10Gb I/O module 3,784,399
Riser Card 36,495,482

Like any good business, the ability to react and adapt quickly will give the best chance of survival in this dog eat dog world.

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