Storage Vendor Offers In-Line Dedupe, Microsoft Hyper-V Support, Huge Margins

By Steve Wexler  |  Print this article Print

Nexenta Systems will soon release a hardware-independent storage solution based on ZFS in-line deduplication, and offering support for Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization to its existing support for Citrix and VMware virtualization technology. But channel partners may be more enthusiastic about the margins available.

Nexenta Systems' CEO Evan Powell has 93 reasons why the channel should be excited about NexentaStor 3.0, a major upgrade to the company’s enterprise-class, hardware- independent storage solution based on the file system ZFS, and Virtual Machine Datacenter (VMDC) 3.0.

Due out at the end of the month, it is called the first commercial storage solution to incorporate ZFS-based in-line deduplication, as well as including support for Microsoft Hyper-V, making it the only storage solution to support all major virtualization environments.
Powell tells Channel Insider the average value of a NexentaStor-based deployment is more than 10 times the price of the NexentaStor license, with partners making 30 percent on the software. "When you buy a NexentaStor based solution, only 7 percent of that purchase goes to Nexenta." That leaves 93 percent for partners' pockets.

"That's a pretty radically different value proposition for partners. One of the differences for our partners is that they make a lot more money."

The value proposition to customers is even better, he adds. End users' TCO (total cost of ownership) savings are often 75 percent or more when they purchase a NexentaStor-based solution versus a legacy solution.

At the end of January the company, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., and has been shipping product for almost two years, stated 2009 was a "breakthrough year" with a 740 percent increase in full-year revenue from the previous year and an increase in quarterly sales of 630 percent from the last quarter of 2008. It doubled its channel to 100 partners globally, accounting for 75 percent of total revenues. There are around a 1,000 licenses sold, with more than 20,000 users, making Nexenta the fastest growing storage company in the last 10 to 15 years, says Powell.

The release of 3.0 significantly opens up the market for the storage, server and virtualization channels looking to provide industry-standard solutions at a fraction of the cost of the legacy storage vendors.

"We need more partners." He says they're increasingly working with Citrix Xen partners and are starting to get traction with VMware and Microsoft HyperV partners too.

"It's these virtualization experts who want a virtualization-friendly solution as part of their design." With the new release, there's also an opportunity for whitebox partners looking to expand into storage, he adds.

Powell says what makes NexentaStor 3.0 significant for deduplicating primary storage is its bidirectional replication with compression and deduplication, superior end-to-end data integrity, accelerated I/O through the native use of SSDs, and hardware accelerators leveraged by the ZFS file system. With its support for Hyper-V, NexentaStor is the only product to support VMware, Citrix Xen and Hyper-V virtualization platforms from a single point within one unified environment, VMDC. VMDC allows storage administrators to see their entire virtual environment and to provision storage and storage policies, including backup, replication and retention policies from a simple point and click interface.

Additional capabilities include greater ease of use for high availability functionality; enhanced support for a broader array of hardware including 10Gbe Ethernet and SAS-2 controllers for increased performance; and simplified disaster recovery support via multiple enhancements to underlying ZFS based replication.

The company's primary audience is customers fed up with vendor lock-in for legacy storage systems. "If I look at legacy storage vendors, they're making a huge amount of money on customers that are locked in and customers are getting sick of it."

With the release of NexentaStor 3.0, the company not only offers tremendous cost savings, but also offers real best-of-breed technical innovation, says Powell.