I joined Nutanix earlier this week and like any savvy potential employee, I did a bit of reading and research before I signed up for the ride. Part of the attraction to someone like me, who’s lived and breathed the corporate life for the last thirteen and a bit years, is the open attitude everyone here displays toward sharing and being as open as possible with both the business and the technology.
The Nutanix culture embraces ideas and encourages transparent thought not only internally, but also with customers, partners and the wider community. For evidence, you need look no further than the excellent blog of Mr Leibovici, the surprisingly open and informative Nutanix Bible, or what I first read, SDS for Dummies (they must have known I was coming).
We’re not the only people to provide insight into our most prized innards though. Nutanix’s legacy stems from Google which is a very transparent company – even publishing papers on their foundation file system, GFS. Here let me Google that for you and you’ll see just how much information is freely available to you. Google knows that sharing ideas, even with competitors, makes them stronger.
Another obviously transparent company is the American electric car manufacturer, Tesla. A few days ago, CEO Elon Musk pledged to donate all their patents to the industry. To many this was rather surprising since, well, surely that’s their business and their future, right? Why would anyone in their right mind do something so crazy, so…selfless? The answer is that Musk understands that really gaining traction in an emerging market requires that others follow Tesla’s lead.
Bob Metcalfe, who co-invented ethernet, explains this principle with ‘Metcalfe’s Law’: “The value of a network increases with the square of the number of nodes on the network.” What this means in plain English is that as more people use a network, its value to the users increases exponentially. This idea also applies to new industries such as cloud providers, electric car manufactures, and web-scale converged infrastructure providers. Perhaps sooner rather than later, it becomes the way everyone does it. Offering up a better way of doing business is, to me, where the real excitement comes. That’s where I think Nutanix is leading and that’s one of the reasons why I joined.
Nutanix believes that seeing the world from the virtual machine outwards, through a converged software defined solution, leads to huge benefits. Web-scale is something we eat, breath and sleep – but it’s not a single feature that just popped up out of nowhere. Web-scale was born out of looking at the problem, data centres and storage, from a different angle and consequently seeing a way of doing things better. The Googles, Facebooks and Amazons of the world have already done this effectively; we’re really just porting their infrastructure concept into the private data centre. But the shared idea is what carries this change into the wild and that’s where it can make the most difference.
(Special thanks to Steve Kaplan for proof reading this to ensure any Noobisms were addresssed)