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Nutanix slims down code, chases after small business

Hardware minus big-shops-software bits

Nutanix is having a crack at the medium-sized business market with a product called Xpress.

The new product is a hyperconverged hardware and software bundle that Nutanix says starts at US$25,000 for an entry-level three-node cluster capable of running from 10 to 400 or 500 virtual machines.

Nutanix says the secret sauce is its software, which aims to make administering VMs and hardware simple enough that outfits of any size won't need specialists dedicated to wrangling servers and storage. Xpress takes that concept even further by omitting some of Nutanix's higher-end and more complex features: out go erasure codes, availability domains and multi-site disaster recovery.

Also gone, presumably for the sake of performance, is encryption for data at rest.

Nutanix's Acropolis hypervisor is in the box, making this a play for those organisations tired of paying vSphere or Hyper-V fees. Whether learning the ins and outs of Acropolis quite fits with Nutanix's vision of Xpress as suited to lone-hand IT shops is anyone's guess.

Nutanix needs to extend its range and reduce prices, not least because VCE has promised big price cuts for its VXRail product in the second half of 2016. By then, the might of Dell will be pushing VxRail hard to its colossal customer collection. Cisco has also crashed the hyperconverged party. And The Register recently learned that SimpliVity has found some tactics it thinks has put a rocket under its channel sales.

A broader portfolio therefore looks like a fine idea for Nutanix, not least because it still intends to float some time during 2016. ®

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