Nutanix.Next: First impressions of a first time conference

MIAMI – I spent the better part of this week in South Beach attending the Nutanix .Next conference. This is Nutanix’s first kick at the can flooring a show.

According to organizers the hyper-converged vendor planned for just 500 attendees and ended up with 936. It’s safe to say the San Jose, Calif.-based company was overjoyed with the results from the .Next show.

Julie O’Brien, the vice president of corporate marketing for Nutanix, said the .Next Conference has already outgrown the ultra-luxurious FountaineBleau hotel where the conference was held. She said Nutanix will host next year’s conference at the Wynn Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

So, why all the attention?

Well, one reason is the hyper-converged infrastructure market will hit the billion dollar milestone sometime early next year, according to Eric Sheppard, IDC market analyst.

Hyper-converged has a growth rate of 116 per cent in 2015. Basically money talks here when it comes to this market and Nutanix is right in the middle of this super trend.

Company CEO Dheeraj Pandey said during his keynote address at .Next that he hates the word “hyper-converged” because it becomes an end instead of a means to an end.

Pandey said storage is just a beginning for Nutanix and that the company’s new infrastructure solutions is going to give IT there “weekends back.”

Sudneesh Nair, the vice president of worldwide sales for Nutanix, told CDN that hyper-converged is going to solve the storage problem and that’s just the first act. He said Nutanix is similar to Apple with its IPod music player being a precursor to the iPhone with iTunes, iCloud and the App Store all coming together at once.

“The magic is that we remove the boat anchor that is storage. You can now innovation with apps. Nutanix has a vision to untether the apps from the data centre and make them float through the data centre,” he said.

What channel partners told me at this conference is customers who are looking for choices may have it with Nutanix and avoid vendor lock in with the cloud.

Nair said the channel can go to a customer and talk to them about OPEX savings, but most of the time they would rather discuss CAPEX. Customers want to save on today’s costs as well. Nair claims that Nutanix can cut at least 35 per cent off of CAPEX and then there are soft cost savings such as power, footprint and speed-to-market.

For the channel Nair provided stats that show a 74 per cent customer repeat rate in a 12 month time period. “For every dollar they spend on the first sale they then spend three times more on the second sale. They know the OPEX and CAPEX savings are real and it moves the needle,” he said.

“Nutanix is like right brain and left brain. The left is like Google and with the right you get the elegance and simplicity of Apple.”

One quick hit before I go. Industry veteran Larry Lang is the new CEO of PLUMgrid, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based virtual networking vendor for OpenStack clouds. Lang was the president and CEO of Quorum Labs as well as vice president and GM of Cisco’s mobile Internet business unit. He also held senior VP posts at Ipsilon Networks, now part of Nokia and he currently sits on the board of Violin Memory.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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