Nirvanix Gains Increased Market Traction With Triad Of Cloud Solutions

I blogged about Nirvanix here on Network Computing back in November, and opined that the time to execute with cloud offerings is now. I have been following Nirvanix closely since then, and speaking candidly with its customers. It is clear that the company is executing well, providing substantial value to its existing customers, gaining new customers and fine-tuning offerings in order to take the competition head on. Nirvanix has its sights set on the high end of the competitive spectrum. The com

Tom Trainer

January 14, 2011

5 Min Read
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I blogged about Nirvanix here on Network Computing back in November, and opined that the time to execute with cloud offerings is now. I have been following Nirvanix closely since then, and speaking candidly with its customers. It is clear that the company is executing well, providing substantial value to its existing customers, gaining new customers and fine-tuning offerings in order to take the competition head on. Nirvanix has its sights set on the high end of the competitive spectrum. The company is making gains in market traction and turning prospects away from stalwarts like EMC and IBM.

While some folks know Nirvanix for its Storage Delivery Network (SDN) of clustered data center nodes around the globe, many aren't aware that the company actually offers a highly differentiated three-pronged approach to solving its customers' cloud storage requirements. Other vendors in the cloud storage space are still either in the conceptual or development stage, haggling for initial customers, or offering only one-third of the possible cloud storage options compared with what Nirvanix has been delivering.

I have spoken with Nirvanix customers in November, December and as late as last week, and they consistently brought to my attention that what impressed them most was that Nirvanix solutions span from CloudNAS Gateway to hardware-agnostic hybrids and private cloud software solutions. They have also been impressed with the level to which they could optimize their solutions.

With its CloudNAS Gateway, you can basically turn any server on the network into a gateway to the clouds. In my opinion, compared with most other cloud gateways on the market, Nirvanix offers a matched set, given that its CloudNAS Gateway is specifically tuned to the performance characteristics of its SDN. After speaking with Nirvanix customers and looking closely at the cloud gateway, it is clear to me that the company has put in the time and has made the serious effort to build in optimizations to the gateway. These optimizations include increased speed of upload, disaster recovery, and several unique tuning enhancements for optimized performance based upon customer requirements and the ability to sense activity and performance throughout the cloud storage infrastructure. So, what does all this mean in the end? This enables Nirvanix to guarantee an end-to-end cloud storage solution, unlike other cloud gateway providers that cannot see and monitor both ends of the network.

With its hNode hybrid and private cloud software, which runs on any storage hardware platform, you can bring truly granular usage-based storage services to existing storage assets and essentially make them cloud-enabled. Customers could literally take any existing file system--from NetApp to Isilon to Celerra to Exanet--and put the Nirvanix Web services layer on top to enable a cloud services layer on existing storage investments. It's like reinvigorating your existing storage devices and extending their useful lives into the cloud. This is sexy technology! How sexy? I can foresee one of the larger OEMs integrating it with existing storage system offerings and making a big push against EMC in the battle for the private cloud. Speaking of "the journey to the private cloud," I believe that it's not just about the journey to the private cloud, it's about the flexibility to deploy any cloud storage required to support business needs. A business may have needs for a public cloud and a private cloud and/or a hybrid cloud. But just building a private cloud is not the only answer.

Regardless of cloud type, Nirvanix is making it clear that it is cloud-agnostic, and, from what I've seen, major customers, such as Hollywood film studios and Fortune 500 companies, are putting their enterprise weight behind the cloud and moving their data to the Nirvanix cloud infrastructure at an increasingly rapid rate, demonstrating that they agree with this flexible approach to cloud storage. In essence, they are voting with their dollars and electing a cloud storage partner. Make no mistake, we are talking about extremely large corporations moving their digital assets to the cloud, and they are moving in the Nirvanix direction. I am one that loves to speak to customers and quote them in my blogs. However, these customers see this technology as "their" competitive weapon, and they are reluctant to be quoted. It's understandable given the stakes involved.

Part of Nirvanix's ability to attract the larger enterprise customers can be attributed to its dedicated focus on cloud storage services. While others are trying to be the jacks of all trades--trying to do virtualization hosting, software hosting and compute hosting--storage becomes an afterthought. They subsequently become the master of none. Nirvanix, however, has a singular focus, a singular vision--cloud storage--and I believe that focus is helping to fuel the company's success with large clients.

The second element of its recent traction has to do with performance. More often than not, the customers who selected Nirvanix have run extensive benchmarks in real-world environments and found that Nirvanix solutions outperform offerings from the likes of EMC Atmos and Rackspace in terms of sheer bandwidth, scalability and redundancy. In the words of a large Hollywood studio that selected Nirvanix over EMC Atmos and IBM Global Services, Nirvanix is a "true enterprise solution with rapid deployment, multiple storage locations, and is easy to manage with policy-based replication." The cloud space is getting increasingly hot, and I expect that 2011 will be an explosive year for cloud deployments, partnerships and acquisitions. I'll continue to monitor interesting moves made by the key players in this space, and blog about these moves throughout the year.

(At the time this blog was written, EMC, IBM and Nirvanix were not clients of Tom
Trainer or Analytico)

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