For FPI, Nutanix Is the Perfect Standalone VDI Platform

Business Needs

A standalone, high performance server and storage infrastructure to support VDI.


The Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform.


  • Compact form factor – 92% less rack space requirement than previous VDI pilot project
  • Quick setup - in less than two or three hours
  • Self-contained storage and compute platform with no SAN requirement
  • Competitive pricing
  • Significant savings in capital expenditure
  • 100-200% increase in performance
  • Virtually manages itself
  • Infrastructure ready to support additional desktops in the future

Company Background

Farm Credit Financial Partners, Inc. (FPI), based in Agawam, Massachusetts, is a technology services provider to Farm Credit Banks in the United States. With 160 employees, FPI provides comprehensive IT services to seven banks from Maine to California.

Standalone Platform for VDI

FPI needed a server and storage platform to host VMware Horizon View for a banking client. The platform had to be standalone, separate from existing servers and storage, so it would not interfere with the performance of other production applications. VDI is well-known for demanding high IOPS performance.

A reseller introduced the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform as a converged, SAN-free solution for VDI. The reseller provided a demonstration unit, which FPI configured with VMware Horizon View, tested and ultimately purchased. “We were very impressed by how much compute power, memory and storage space is available in just one unit,” said Gary Garvey, Senior Datacenter Analyst. “It’s all self-contained. We didn’t need a lot of training to get it up and running. It doesn’t need Fibre Channel SAN connectivity, which adds a lot of time and requires other expertise.”

Nutanix was competitively priced as well. FPI also evaluated a solution with EMC storage and Cisco UCS blade servers, but the price was about 5x higher than the Nutanix platform.

We were very impressed by how much compute power, memory and storage space is available in just one unit. It’s all self-contained.

Gary Garvey, Senior Datacenter Analyst

Nutanix – Perfect Solution for Virtualization

The installation process was very easy and quick. “The reseller helped us with the installation. They came in, racked up the Nutanix appliance, plugged in a couple of network cables, powered it up and the system was up and running within two hours. By the end of the day, some VMware Horizon View desktops were ready to roll,” added Garvey.

The small 2U form factor of the Nutanix Complete Block made it extremely easy to manage datacenter rack space. By comparison, a VDI pilot project from a couple years earlier that used traditional Dell blade servers and EMC SAN storage would have required 25U of rack space for equivalent storage and compute resources that Nutanix delivers in only 2U, a 92% reduction.

Users are very pleased with the virtual desktop performance. They are experiencing 100 to 200% increase in performance as compared to the earlier pilot project. Most client users are remote and use VDI to access applications running in FPI’s Agawam datacenter. Currently there are 50 virtual desktops users, but with 2,500 client users accessing the datacenter, the potential for VDI expansion is very large.


The management console is very self-explanatory and easy to use. It didn’t require much training at all. I spend a lot less time on the Nutanix platform as compared to the time I spend on the other systems we have in our infrastructure.

Gary Garvey, Senior Datacenter Analyst

The manageability and reliability of the Nutanix platform has made life easier for the IT staff. “The management console is very self-explanatory time on the Nutanix platform as compared to the time I spend on the other systems we have in our infrastructure like EMC storage arrays, Dell servers and Cisco UCS servers. This is a big time saver overall,” said Garvey.

“I think it’s a perfect solution to help customers in supporting applications, whether it be VMware View or just VMware. It’s a great way to provide storage, compute and memory – all in one box,” he added.