Nutanix: Yo, we heard you liked convergence, so we converged files in your hyper-converge kit
SMB first, NFS to follow as virtual SAN tops up with files
Nutanix is unifying files and blocks with its Acropolis hyper-converged appliance: it's added the native Acropolis file services (AFS) to the virtual-machine-running Acropolis hypervisor software.
Acropolis nodes form a cluster, and the VM services sit atop a distributed file system in which functions like compression, erasure coding, deduplication and tiering are found. AFS is a software upgrade and forms one or more file system clusters in a Nutanix base cluster.
A Nutanix blog post describes the file offering and says Nutanix is extending its hyper-convergence by converging files with its existing VM-running system.
Only server message block (SMB) 2.1 access is supported in the first release. NFS and SMB 3.0 will come in future releases.
There are no theoretical limits on the AFS cluster node count. It has a single address space and supports billions of files and thousands of user sessions, with support for tens of thousands coming. Protection is by snapshot.
Capacity and performance can be expanded, needing human mouse clicks, but this will be more automated in the future. The existing Prism management facility is used to administer AFS. Installation takes minutes and AFS can be deployed as a centralized standalone AFS cluster as well as being integrated with virtualization applications and desktops.
Finally, we learn that Active Directory is integrated with AFS, and that "several more features focused on users and applications" are due in the next release. ®