|Industry||Computer data storage
|Headquarters||Santa Clara, California, United States|
|Key people||Tarkan Maner (CEO)
Alex Aizman (CTO)
Phil Underwood (COO)
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. The company has had close relationships with open source projects and former Sun Microsystems technology over its history.
In 2005, Nexenta was founded by Alex Aizman and Dmitry Ysupov, software developers and former executives at network vendor Silverback (later acquired by Brocade). Aizman and Ysupov previously worked together as the authors of the open source iSCSI initiator software in the Linux kernel.
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.
The company's entry into the data storage market was led by early adoption at Stanford University. 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.
Nexenta intended to compete by creating a storage system that did not require specialized hardware. 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.
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
Much of Nexenta's business comes from partners that provide hardware and services alongside Nexenta software. The company's software is preinstalled on storage systems from vendors including Cisco, Dell, and SGI.
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. 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. NexentaStor was derived from the former Nexenta OS and based on the illumos operating system. 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. NexentaStor allows online snapshots to be taken of data and replicated to other systems.
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