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Q&A: Interview with Nimboxx Talking Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) Benefits and More

 

Earlier this year, research and analyst firm IDC reported that the hyperconverged systems market grew 162.3% in 2014 to a market value of $373 million.  Market awareness reached new heights throughout the year, due in large part to a flurry of product announcements, new market entrants, and venture capital funding.  The stage has been set for another year of strong market growth.  According to a new forecast, sales of hyperconverged systems in 2015 are expected to generate $807 million in global revenue, up 116.2% over 2014.

To find out more about this industry, I spoke with David Cauthron, founder and CEO of Nimboxx.

VMblog:  The market for hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) has really taken off.  How does Nimboxx define HCI?

David Cauthron:  Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) is definitely a hot space. The most common definition, and the one we follow, is that HCI combines a software-centric architecture that is tightly integrated with compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources and packaged in a commodity hardware platform. It is the union of key resources and capabilities in a single, simple device.

VMblog:  For folks who haven't yet jumped into the water, what are some of the benefits they might receive from moving to a hyperconverged environment?

Cauthron:  A hyperconverged infrastructure provides significant benefits, including: 
  • Ease of Use - HCI consolidates servers, storage, networking and security into a single solution, enabling organizations to manage their application environment from a single pane of glass.
  • Low Costs - HCI reduces costs associated with operational overhead, hypervisor licenses, multi-vendor management, maintenance and more.
  • Scalability - HCI makes it easy to scale capacity up/down, provisioning and deprovisioning virtual machines as needed. As your business grows, additional HCI appliances can be added to expand compute and storage capabilities.
  • Performance - HCI can dramatically increase the performance of enterprise applications, in some cases more than 10x the performance of the existing infrastructure.
  • High availability - HCI often features high availability that provides greater data resilience and faster workload restoration when failures do occur.

VMblog:  For those companies that may not be fully virtualized yet, is this a good solution for them?  

Cauthron:  Hyperconverged infrastructure is a powerful solution for nearly every data center scenario and business application. With HCI, the emphasis is on workload management and building-block scalability. This gives admins and application teams the flexibility and power to run nearly any application more efficiently. Common use cases include SMB/ROBO, Enterprise Applications, Dev/Test, Server Virtualization, Big Data/Analytics and more.

VMblog:  I see that Nimboxx was recently listed in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems.  How does the company differentiate itself?

Cauthron:  Nimboxx's mission is to bring the benefits of the hyper-scale data center model enjoyed by large cloud providers to enterprises of all sizes. We are focused on a simple 'Lego-brick' scale out approach, which offers the easiest and most affordable way to deploy HCI. With Nimboxx, you can start with a single node (in contrast with other HCI solutions that require multiple nodes) and be up and running in approximately nine minutes, enjoying unprecedented I/O performance. We are the only KVM-centric HCI solution that allows you to avoid hypervisor licensing, and the only vendor that offers a single HCI + VDI solution, providing a single management interface across all HCI components.

VMblog:  While others are building on top of VMware, you guys chose to operate with KVM as your hypervisor of choice.  How did that decision come about?

Cauthron:  Since day one, we've been focused on building an extremely flexible, cost-effective HCI platform based on open-source technologies that don't rely on other vendor solutions. Our decision to use the KVM/QEMU hypervisor is all about our end users. This choice eliminates integration with, and management of third-party hypervisors and the need to pay costly hypervisor licenses. KVM, used as the hypervisor in Google's Compute Engine and hundreds of thousands of other deployments worldwide, has the fastest growing market share of any hypervisor with a CAGR of more than 40 percent.

VMblog:  Earlier this year, Nimboxx acquired another KVM-based solution, VERDE VDI.  What is the benefit for customers?

Cauthron:  The addition of VERDE has been great for our customers. We're now the only single vendor HCI + VDI solution on the market, which gives IT departments maximum flexibility to capitalize on the benefits of HCI. Nimboxx provides both a software-only VDI solution and one that is designed to work with the MeshOS software stack running on Nimboxx hardware appliances.

VMblog:  I've been asked the question by readers, so perhaps you can respond.  With regard to hyperconverged infrastructure, how well does it handle high performance applications and VDI?

Cauthron:  Performance is one of the most surprising aspects of HCI. On average, Nimboxx customers see a 5-10x increase in IOPS compared to previous operations. The gains come from a number of areas. In particular, by directly accessing bare-metal hardware, the MeshOS delivers significant performance that can't be attained by competitive solutions running in a VM. For more on performance gains, check out this report from Principled Technologies

VMblog:  Can you tell us, what's on the horizon for Nimboxx?

Cauthron:  Our team is hard at work driving innovation in this space. In addition to adding new features, such as enhancements to the MeshOS, we're committed to an open-ecosystem strategy, allowing our customers to leverage investments in complementary technologies within their HCI deployment. It's also essential that as enterprises implement private clouds on the Nimboxx HCI platform they have the option to utilize public cloud resources as a fully integrated extension of their private cloud operations. Nimboxx is rapidly expanding its integrations with public cloud service providers to ensure customers will be able to replicate workflows and applications in mirror reflections of the operating environments they've implemented with HCI in their private clouds.

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Learn more, check out this information in BYOD is Easy to Manage with VDI to discover how VDI and Nimboxx address the BYOD risk.

Once again, thanks to David Cauthron, founder and CEO of Nimboxx, for speaking with VMblog and taking the time to answer questions about the hyperconverged industry. To find out more on Nimboxx, visit www.nimboxx.com.
Published Friday, October 23, 2015 6:33 AM by David Marshall
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