The Riverside Company

For Riverside’s Server and Storage Consolidation, Nutanix Fits Like a Glove

Business Needs

Consolidate disparate server and storage from five sites across the U.S. to a single virtual environment at the company’s New York datacenter. Maximizing space and power with a limited IT budget factored into the decision.


The Nutanix Complete Cluster.


  • Space-efficient, low power consumption
  • Cost-effective and SAN-Free
  • Preloaded with VMware and ready to go
  • Responsive, personalized support

Company Background

The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm investing in companies with enterprise values of under $200 million. Riverside nurtures companies, building them into more effective enterprises through time-tested management techniques, organic growth and add-on acquisitions.

A Consolidation in New York

Riverside wanted to consolidate its aging server and storage infrastructure from five sites across the U.S. to one data center in New York. The infrastructure supported applications like Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server databases, file and print servers and web servers. The existing distributed, siloed environment was challenging to manage and lacked high availability features. The company’s IT department had been reorganized and centralized, and the IT director correspondingly wanted to centralize the infrastructure as well. They chose to deploy a VMware virtual environment and thought they would need a traditional enterprise SAN from a vendor like EMC or NetApp to support it. However, the cost of a SAN, including footprint, on-going maintenance and power consumption, posed a budgetary challenge for the team.

“The small footprint, the reduced power consumption, all-in-one. From a cost and management perspective, it just seemed like the right fit for us.”

– Robert Sciaraffo, Senior Systems Engineer

Nutanix as the SAN-Free Alternative

At this point the IT staff learned about the Nutanix Complete Cluster, a converged compute and storage platform purpose-built for virtual environments, and decided to evaluate it as an alternative. The Complete Cluster does not require a SAN at all because storage is built-in and automatically unified and shared among all nodes. Each Nutanix Complete Block is a rackable 2U unit that includes four dual-processor compute nodes and 22.5 TB of raw SATA and SSD capacity, so it is both space- and energy-efficient. The system expands in a pay-as-you-grow fashion by adding Complete Blocks to the cluster. The web-based console manages the entire stack, which makes it easier for the company’s relatively small IT staff to learn and use the system and focus more time on application delivery. The platform also comes preloaded with a VMware hypervisor and supports VM high availability and live migration. “The small footprint, the reduced power consumption, all-in-one… From a cost and management perspective, it just seemed like the right fit for us,” said Robert Sciaraffo, Senior Systems Engineer at Riverside.

Riverside purchased a Nutanix Complete Cluster to host applications at its New York datacenter. Sciaraffo was particularly pleased with the technical support Nutanix provided during installation, configuration and testing. The engineers were willing to help with not only the Nutanix product, but also adjacent technologies like the switching equipment. “Everyone has been very responsive. The technical support experience I get at Nutanix is more personalized,” he said. When asked to comment on performance changes, Sciaraffo mentioned that Riversides’s users have noticed performance improvements in database application (SAP Business One) since transitioning to Nutanix.

“Everyone has been very responsive. The technical support experience I get at Nutanix is more personalized.”

– Robert Sciaraffo, Senior Systems Engineer

Looking forward, Riverside plans to install a second Nutanix Complete Cluster as a replication target at a warm disaster recovery site. This will protect enterprise data in real time and allow it to fail over in the event of a system failure at the local data center.