Nutanix Announces All Flash Array

In very exciting news Nutanix announced the industry’s first hyperconverged all flash appliance, the NX-9240.  What makes this puppy special? Well it’s a 2U appliance which contains two compute nodes, each with 6 SSDs. The SSDs can be either 800GB or the 1.6TB models. This means up to 19.2TB of RAW flash in a 2U appliance. Fill half a rack with these monsters and you have nearly 200TB of high performance flash at your disposal.

2014-10-11_10-30-43

Nutanix has always had great performance, due to our hybrid approach of combining SSDs with HDDs. This works great for a large majority of workloads including VDI, Exchange, SQL, Oracle and general purpose server VMs. With integrated ILM, hot data is moved up to SSDs while colder data is moved down to the HDDs. But sometimes there are exceptional workloads, such database OLTP which need consistent I/O latency and predictable performance across the entire working set that only flash can bring. These workloads will feel right at home on the NX-9000 series platform.

2014-10-11_10-23-32

Why Nutanix?

One big advantage that Nutanix all flash has over other competing all flash arrays is our scale out controller architecture of one CVM per server node. As shown in my Running IOMeter on Nutanix blog post, we saw that I/O performance scales out as you add more controllers. Driving flash requires a lot of processing power, and dual controller arrays may start to peter out when pushing all flash performance. If you are doing array firmware upgrades or have a hardware malfunction and lose a controller your performance can be cut in half. With Nutanix, if you take a node down for maintenance then you only lose up to 1/n performance from your cluster. For example, in a 16 node cluster you would only suffer a 6% drop (assuming the cluster was being pushed to the maximum). In reality you probably wouldn’t even notice a node is down during normal workloads.

Another Nutanix advantage is the lack of rip and replace when you want to increase your storage performance. Instead of a fork lift controller upgrade to get better performance you merely add new nodes through the PRISM GUI in a few clicks. You’ve now just added many 10s of thousands of IOPS capacity to your cluster with minimal fuss. As new platforms come out, such as those based on Haswell, just add them to existing clusters and take advantage of the latest Intel CPU performance benefits.

Even More Models

In case you missed it, Nutanix also very recently announced the NX-8000 series, which has four SSDs and 20 HDDs. This is ideal for large scale Microsoft Exchange workloads (think thousands of mailboxes), or medium sized databases. From the NX-1000 series for small deployments through the NX-9240 for all flash, we have all of your hyperconverged bases covered.