December 1, 2022
The U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996 created the E-rate program to ensure that schools and libraries, particularly those in low-income or rural areas, have affordable access to telecommunications and internet services. These eligible services are broken up into two categories. Category One includes data transmission and/or internet access. According to the FCC, this category consists of the services that provide broadband to eligible locations, including data links that connect multiple points, services used to connect eligible locations to the internet, and services that provide basic conduit access to the internet. Category Two’s eligible equipment includes wireless access points and controller systems, routers and switches, and most importantly for Nutanix, software-defined networking (SDN) and firewalls.
Nutanix has introduced an integrated software-defined solution. Features include: a FIPS-140 compliant platform (L1/L2), secure IPv4/IPv6 networking, broadband services, role-based access control, caching services, traffic shaping, and DNS that can run anywhere, from on-premises to the cloud. More than 75% of the costs are estimated to qualify for E-rate funding.
Additional Nutanix features are included in these integrated bundles that come with the eligible solution, providing additional value. Features such as cost governance, files management, and services are non-eligible for E-Rate reimbursement; however, they can be added to the eligible baseline software under a supplemental quote.
Nutanix is qualified under the confines of software defined networking, where it can consolidate and minimize physical device outlay for other parts of the network, as well as test servers and cashing services on the platform. Currently, three solutions are available with varying percentages of eligibility; however, Nutanix provides an allocation document where customers can view each solution’s validation details feature by feature.
Eligible Nutanix products include:
Each product—AOS, FLOW and NX Hardware— are offered as a bundle with the understanding that customers must run Nutanix’s Acropolis Hypervisor or AHV Virtualization. Nutanix FLOW requires the utilization of the Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor as the single hypervisor of choice within the virtual machine cluster. This has also been qualified as a single node, including multiple qualified levels of super micro hardware.
The Nutanix E-Rate Bundle is available in a one, three and five-year subscription and hardware support terms. To get a customer started, Nutanix will meet with the organization to gain an understanding of their current workload and current data center. Nutanix captures an RV tool which shows whether a customer has a small, medium or large build. Once this is determined, Nutanix can more easily understand the number of cores, memory and storage needed to quickly quote and plug in all applicable information. This includes the customer’s E-Rate discount which is provided prior to the consultation to offer a clear picture of exactly what is moving to a Nutanix platform with the FLOW solution and index hardware.
These solutions are a valuable investment for schools and libraries to close the broadband services delivery gap, provide CIPA certified connectivity solutions and affordable access to high-speed internet. The E-Rate qualified Category 2 Solution, Nutanix, offers the ability to converge storage, virtualization and network services into a single FIPS 140-2 capable platform.