Utilising the Nutanix 1000 Series 1065 and based on the new Intel Broadwell chipset this product line available to order in June 2016, with delivery starting early July 2016.
The Nutanix Xpress is with limitations to stand it apart from the Nutanix NX Enterprise Solutions. These limitations are of no real consequence for SMBs, one limitation added is that a Cluster can only contain a maximum of 4 nodes, in the Enterprise edition, it is unlimited.
The changes that the Nutanix Xpress comes with, compared to the Enterprise Editions is that a cluster for Xpress systems is limited to four nodes, you have to purchase a minimum of 3 nodes initially. However, for the SMB market, this should be sufficient to run most needs within Smaller businesses. Additional clusters or 3 or 4 nodes can be purchased.
One good solution for an SMB that requires Diaster Recovery (DR) is to purchase two clusters, one as the Primary Cluster and the second to act as the DR Cluster.
The Nutanix Xpress has been designed as a Turn-Key solution for those SMB with a small IT department and using the Prism interface provides easy management of the overall Cluster. When using the Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) even further cost reduction is achieved when implementing a Nutnaix Xpress solution, as the purchased of a Hypervisor, like VMware ESX, is not required.
Using the Nutanix Xpress and the AHV provides a single pane of glass for monitoring the health of the hardware and the Virtual Machines (VMs) running on the system.
The Nutanix Xpress also provides cloud integration with AWS and Azure, allowing VMs to be backed up to the cloud for enhanced protection and in future edition provide the capability to migrate workloads (VMs) up to Public clouds, like AWS and Azure, or even back again.
Pricing for the UK has yet to be released, but the initially indicated pricing, based on the US Dollar appears to be around $25,000 for a 3 node Nutanix Xpress cluster, utilising a low-end specification and 3 years Xpress Support.
A low-end specification would be 3 nodes, with each node containing Dual 8 Core 1.7Ghz CPUs, 64GB RAM, 1x 480GB SSD and 2x 2TB HDD per node, providing ~4TB of storage. The $25,000 would also include the Xpress Software and 3 Years Xpress Support.
The Nutanix Xpress Software provides;
Cluster Size (3 or 4 nodes max)
Online Cluster Grow or Shrink
VM-Centric Snapshots and Clones
VM Flash Mode
Replication within Single Site
Management and Analytics
One-click Upgrades (Nutanix OS and Hypervisor)
Intelligent VM Placement
Virtual Network Configurations
VM High Availability
The Nutanix Xpress Support uses the same Nutanix Support Engineers that support the Enterprise Customers and provides 24×7 coverage, by email or phone, 4 hours response time, Next Business Day for parts and up to 4 contacts eligible to contact support. There are some limitations on field support, but it is possible to choose the Production Support option, then enables 2 Hour response time and no limitation of field support.
This offering from Nutanix is a welcomed edition and any SMB should investigate the Nutanix Xpress solution. For any SMB that has a small IT team, Nutanix Xpress can reduce their workload, as Storage, Compute and Hypervisor can now be handled, directly by Nutanix, no longer does the IT team need to bounce between vendors to resolve a problem. Nutanix has the highest customer satisfaction from any storage provider on the market.
For those interesting in what the Nutanix Prism interface and AHV looks like, Nutanix has a Community Edition (CE) that can be downloaded and run on any PC, with enough memory, Intel CPU and an SSD and HDD. The Community Edition is a great place to start.