Nexenta Systems

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Nexenta Systems, Inc.
Type Private
Industry Computer data storage
Computer software
Founded 2005 (2005)[1]
Founder(s) Alex Aizman
Dmitry Ysupov
Headquarters Santa Clara, California, United States
Area served Worldwide
Key people Tarkan Maner (CEO)[2]
Alex Aizman (CTO)
Phil Underwood (COO)[3]
Products NexentaStor
Nexenta MetroHA
Nexenta VSA for VMware Horizon View

Nexenta Systems, Inc. is an American multinational producer of software-based systems for data storage and backup, headquartered in Santa Clara, California. Nexenta develops the NexentaStor storage appliance.[4] The company has had close relationships with open source projects and former Sun Microsystems technology over its history.[5]



In 2005, Nexenta was founded by Alex Aizman and Dmitry Ysupov, software developers and former executives at network vendor Silverback (later acquired by Brocade).[6] Aizman and Ysupov previously worked together as the authors of the open source iSCSI initiator software in the Linux kernel.[7]

The company was created to support the open source Nexenta OS project after Sun Microsystems released the bulk of its Solaris operating system under free software licenses as OpenSolaris. Nexenta OS was an operating system that integrated Sun's Solaris kernel and core technologies with applications from the popular Debian and Ubuntu operating systems.[8][9]

Data storage[edit]

The company's entry into the data storage market was led by early adoption at Stanford University.[10] The field had traditionally been dominated by companies such as EMC and NetApp, who sold hardware storage appliances. These vertically integrated businesses where hardware and software were controlled by the same entity created significant switching barriers for customers and allowed the vendors to command high prices for their products.[11]

Nexenta intended to compete by creating a storage system that did not require specialized hardware.[12][13] Instead of producing hardware, the company would provide software to run on low-cost commodity computing hardware, a model later marketed as software defined storage.[14]

Nexenta OS was used as the open source foundation for this storage product, and referred to as Nexenta Core Platform. The developers were able to take advantage of ZFS for fast and reliable hybrid storage, integrated with network services including iSCSI, Fibre Channel, NFS, and CIFS. Nexenta developed a proprietary automated management layer and added clustering software, creating a turnkey computer appliance that could be managed without knowledge of the underlying software.

Partnerships and open source[edit]

Much of Nexenta's business comes from partners that provide hardware and services alongside Nexenta software.[1][15] The company's software is preinstalled on storage systems from vendors including Cisco, Dell, and SGI.[16][17]

Nexenta has continued to contribute to free and open source software used in its products. When Oracle discontinued OpenSolaris in 2010, the company became a founding member of the illumos open source project that would replace it.[18] Nexenta is one of several companies participating in the illumos and OpenZFS communities, including Delphix, Joyent, OmniTI.


Nexenta's flagship product is NexentaStor, a software-based appliance for network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area network (SAN) services.[1] NexentaStor was derived from the former Nexenta OS and based on the illumos operating system.[19][5] The software runs on commodity hardware and creates resilient storage pools consisting of multiple hard disk drives and solid-state drives. Data can be organized in a flexible number of filesystems and block storage, and files can be accessed over the widely used NFS and CIFS protocols, while block storage uses iSCSI or Fibre Channel.[20] NexentaStor allows online snapshots to be taken of data and replicated to other systems.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Kovar, Joseph F. (2010-01-25). "Nexenta Gives Open-Source Storage a Virtual Twist". CRN. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  2. ^ Mellor, Chris (2013-08-29). "Oh, a Wyse guy, eh? Why I oughta make you Nexenta's new CEO". The Register. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  3. ^ Gomes, Kimberly (2013-11-16). "Hires and promotions, Nov. 17". SFGate. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  4. ^ Samuels, Diana (2012-01-27). "Nexenta Systems the 'Suave shampoo' of storage triples workforce". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 2013-11-22. 
  5. ^ a b Vervloesem, Koen (2009-05-27). "Nexenta Core Platform 2: OpenSolaris for human beings". Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  6. ^ Schubarth, Cromwell (2013-02-27). "Nexenta's new, old CEOs agree change was needed for next stage". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 2014-01-15. 
  7. ^ Michael, Sean (2005-07-25). "Open Source iSCSI Gains Traction". Enterprise Storage Forum. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  8. ^ Hill, Benjamin Mako; Burger, Corey; Jesse, Jonathan; Bacon, Jono (June 30, 2008). The Official Ubuntu Book (3rd ed.). United States: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0137136684. 
  9. ^ Brockmeier, Joe (2006-10-15). " Nexenta Combines OpenSolaris, GNU, and Ubuntu". Linux Today. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  10. ^ Cohan, Peter (2012-02-16). "Nexenta Aims At EMC's Heart". Forbes. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  11. ^ Tuna, Cari (2011-03-07). "Competing Against Amazon's Cloud". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2013-12-25. 
  12. ^ Phaneuf, Whitney (2012-08-14). "EMC and NetApp: This Startup Wants to Kill Your Closed Model for Storage". PandoDaily. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  13. ^ Breeze, Hannah (2013-11-20). "'Jedi' Nexenta takes aim at EMC and NetApp Death Star". ChannelWeb. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  14. ^ Vellente, Dave (2013-05-29). "Software-Defined Netapp - Always Makes The Right Moves When They Count And Its Software Defined Storage (SDS)". Forbes. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  15. ^ Mellor, Chris (2011-03-04). "Nexenta: the fasting growing storage start-up ever?". The Register. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  16. ^ Mellor, Chris (2012-01-20). "Coraid schmoozes Euro Nexenta distie sextet". The Register. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  17. ^ Linden, Josh (2012-04-10). "SGI NAS Modular Open Storage Solution Released". Storage Reviews. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  18. ^ Vervloesem, Koen (2011-06-02). "Illumos: the successor to the OpenSolaris community". Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  19. ^ Breitbach, Matt (2010-10-05). "ZFS - Building, Testing, and Benchmarking". AnandTech. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  20. ^ Broeken, Marco (2012-06-24). "Building superfast whitebox storage with Nexenta CE". vClouds. Retrieved 2013-12-13.