Three Observations on the Nutanix Acquisition of Pernix Data
By Ajay Singh – VP Products

Today Nutanix announced that it is acquiring the assets of Pernix Data (and, confirming speculation that started a few weeks back.   The Pernix Data  news illustrates three trends we’re increasingly starting to see in the storage / IT infrastructure space.

  • Building a standalone business needs critical mass and momentum. The availability of private capital has diminished significantly over the last year, even as the minimum bar for companies to tap public markets has risen during that timeframe. To be viable as standalone entities, companies need to have demonstrated critical mass in terms of revenue scale, growth rate, and a large and thriving customer base.
  • Achieving critical mass requires a broad technology platform. IT infrastructure companies will find it hard to reach critical mass unless their platforms are built to solve a wide range of customer problems, and with sustained differentiation. Host based caching software is a case in point.  It alleviates performance bottlenecks in environments that have aging and overloaded SANs.  However, the advent of flash optimized storage architectures essentially renders this type of solution as a niche solution at best when compared to a more foundational data layout optimized for flash, data reduction, and low latencies.
  • Addressing the app-data gap requires predictive analytics. It is now abundantly clear that even the best flash architecture isn’t always enough to close the app-data gap – over half of such data access bottlenecks aren’t storage related at all. The solution is predictive analytics that can drill down, troubleshoot and proactively recommend fixes for infrastructure bottlenecks. Ever since Nimble Storage pioneered the use of predictive analytics in the storage industry in 2013 with the launch of InfoSight, other vendors have been scrambling to assemble something similar.  However, much like a data layout optimized for flash, true predictive analytics can’t be easily “layered on” as an afterthought. They require deeply embedded infrastructure for data collection, an analytics platform evolved over years to provide real time and predictive insights, and an organization structurally geared towards continually uncovering and building on a deep history of operational insights.

Back to Nutanix/Pernix – such acquisitions underscore our belief that the industry is consolidating quickly with long-term winners likely to be companies that have critical mass and a broad technology foundation that can truly bring transformational benefits to their customers’ IT environments.