Nutanix is reshaping its product set into five groups that run across public, private, and hybrid clouds with a consistent operating model and simplified packaging, metering, and pricing.
This move is in response to customers finding that although moving to a hybrid multi-cloud model for deploying and managing applications is sensible, the complexity of management, security, data integration, and cost is daunting.
Thomas Cornely, Nutanix SVP product management, issued a statement, saying “Our new, simplified portfolio brings together our rich product capabilities across on-premises and public clouds to deliver consistent infrastructure, data services, management, and operations for applications in virtual machines and containers.”
Nutanix’s global Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) survey found that multi-cloud is currently the most commonly used deployment model and adoption will jump to 64 per cent in the next three years. It also showed that 87 per cent of respondents thought that successful multi-cloud deployments needed simpler management across mixed-cloud infrastructures.
Top multi-cloud challenges included managing security (49 per cent), data integration (49 per cent), and cost (43 per cent) across cloud borders. Some 80 per cent of respondents agreed that moving a workload to a new cloud environment can be costly and time-consuming.
Going all-in on one public cloud would solve some of these problems but customers, mindful of lock-in, don’t want to do that.
Rajiv Ramaswami, president and CEO at Nutanix, played the public-cloud-is-not-the-end-result card. “Solving these complexities is giving way to a new hybrid multi-cloud model that makes cloud an operating model rather than a destination.”
Nutanix says it has has built an enterprise-ready, unified cloud platform with its HCI (hyperconverged infrastructure) system as the foundation. The elements provided on this base are:
Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI), a complete software stack including virtual compute, storage, and networking for virtual machines and containers that can be deployed in private datacentres on customers’ chosen hardware or in public clouds. Nutanix Cloud Clusters (NC2) are used to run NCI in a public cloud and its use cases include cloud bursting, disaster recovery, and datacentre lift and shift.
Nutanix Cloud Manager (NCM) works across public and private clouds providing monitoring, insights, automated remediation, resource optimisation, unified security operations, regulatory compliance, and visibility into cloud metering and chargeback
Nutanix Unified Storage (NUS), distributed and software-defined storage for volumes, files, objects across private, public, or hybrid clouds with license portability in between.
Nutanix Database Service (NDB) helps customers deliver Database-as-a-Service with database engines like PostgreSQL, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle Database, with automated provisioning, scaling, patching, protection, and cloning of database instances across hybrid multi-cloud environments.
Nutanix End User Computing Solutions deliver virtual applications and desktops with a per-user licensing option for NCI to simplify capacity planning by matching the infrastructure cost model to that of the end user computing platform. There is a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) platform that can run end user workloads on NCI, public clouds or hybrid clouds.
All the new products are currently available to customers.
When an enterprise runs its own datacentres, app development and deployment is keyed into the datacentre features. This is not the case with AWS, Azure or GCP because they each have their own software abstractions between the hardware they use and the instances, compute, storage, and services they offer customers.
A company like Nutanix can offer its own abstraction layer across the public clouds, unifying them into a set of platforms on which to run Nutanix services (products). These services are available on-premises as well so that customers can choose where to run applications, virtual or containerised, and associated Nutanix products across the on-premises and AWS/Azure/GCP datacentre environments.
The two big obvious wins are the ability to optimise costs and avoid lock-in to any one cloud vendor. An equally obvious attribute of this is that you now look at your hybrid, multi-cloud datacentre environment through a Nutanix lens. But if you go hybrid or multi-cloud, you either manage the complexity directly yourself, or you look through a supplier’s lens and use its facilities.
The choice you make is based on your view of the breadth, depth, flexibility, and cost of the supplier’s products and services and the quality of its management facilities. There are few companies capable of offering such hybrid, multi-cloud app, service and management environments – Dell EMC (APEX), HPE (GreenLake), IBM (Red Hat), Nutanix, and VMware come to mind as examples.
Nutanix has a firm grasp on what it needs to offer and Ashish Nadkarni, group VP, Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies Group at IDC, recognised this. “Nutanix’s growth started as a more flexible, easier to manage alternative to SAN storage, and has grown into a full cloud platform from virtualization to networking to security, and supports all workloads across on-premises and public clouds. The new product portfolio delivers even more flexibility to help customers adapt to their business’s changing needs.”