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Nutanix Xi Cloud Services Arrive With IoT, Edge And Disaster Recovery Features

‘The future is at the edge. So the fact that they're getting involved in that space and making sure partners are prepared for edge computing is a great thing,’ says Craig Manahan, practice manager of data center infrastructure for RoundTower Technologies.

Nutanix, the hyper-converged infrastructure pioneer, launched its highly anticipated Xi Cloud Services on Tuesday giving channel partners a powerful toolset to attack new markets like the Internet of Things and disaster recovery as-a-service as the firm’s software push flourishes in 2018.

"IoT is a new territory for us, so we're excited about Nutanix jumping into this," said Craig Manahan, practice manager of data center infrastructure for RoundTower Technologies, a Cincinnati-based Nutanix partner. "The future is at the edge. So the fact that they're getting involved in that space and making sure partners are prepared for edge computing is a great thing."

Xi Cloud Services is a new suite of five distinct offerings for the Nutanix Cloud Platform designed to create a more unified fabric across different cloud environments to give customers the freedom to run their applications on the optimal platform. The services make it easier for companies to integrate cloud services into their multi-cloud deployments while also extending Nutanix beyond the traditional data center.

[Related: Hyper-Converged Market Leaders: Forrester Scores 11 Top Providers]

Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey said the company's mission was to make "infrastructure invisible" so customers can focus on their applications and not where the app resides. "Xi Cloud Services is the next evolution in that journey as we help our customers achieve invisible, together," Pandey said in a statement.

A brand-new opportunity for channel partners is Nutanix's new Xi IoT edge computing platform, which performs real-time processing of sensor and device data, then intelligently filters the data back to the customer's cloud platform of choice. Customers can manage all their edge locations through the zero-touch setup service, which also enables developers to leverage a set of popular open APIs. Additionally, Xi IoT Data Pipelines can securely move analyzed data to a customer's private cloud or public cloud such as Azure, AWS and Google Cloud Platform.

Another significant launch is Nutanix's new Xi Leap, a turnkey cloud-based disaster recovery (DR)-as-a-service offering that converges provisioning, replicating data, defining a DR runbook and configuring security and networking into a single service.

Xi Leap protects the applications and data in a Nutanix environment without the need to purchase and maintain a separate infrastructure stack. From within Nutanix's centralized management system, Prism, customers can select VMs for protection which will then be replicated in the background ready to be recovered in the event of a site failure.

"Leap is fantastic especially for the midmarket type of customer that really can't afford to have two data centers and really shouldn’t be in the business of managing infrastructure," said Manahan. "They can have their own on-premise private cloud and then use Xi Leap as their disaster recovery. It's seamless and simple, and all managed from the same interface they use for their on-premise infrastructure. That's a really great product."

The three other new services include Xi Beam, Xi Epoch and Xi Frame, which leverages technology Nutanix acquired earlier this year from Frame.

Xi Frame is a desktop-as-a-service platform built from scratch specifically for cloud deployment, with integrated role-based access control. Xi Beam is a multi-cloud cost optimization and governance tool that allows customers to reduce cost and enhance cloud security across platforms. Xi Epoch is an monitoring solution for multi-cloud applications that provides a "Google Maps-like" view of applications to determine performance bottlenecks and availability issues in any cloud environment, according to Nutanix.

Overall, Manahan said Xi Cloud Services allows for seamless infrastructure between on-premise and multi-cloud environments. "They're making the infrastructure take the backseat and putting people's application first and foremost. In this new world, you have lots of different clouds, and trying to manage that infrastructure is tough. Adding this certainly simplifies things for customers in that regard," he said.

San Jose, Calif.-based Nutanix recently received the highest score in Forrester Research's Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Q3 report, besting the likes of Dell EMC, VMware, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and other major hyper-converged competitors. According to research firm IDC, Nutanix captured nearly 19 percent of the worldwide hyper-converged market share during the second quarter of 2018.

"There's a lot of momentum in the market for Nutanix. They keep adding features to their platform, but they seem to do the releases in the right way. Xi [Cloud Services] is a perfect example," said Manahan, who's Nutanix sales were up this year compared to 2017. "We don't see our Nutanix momentum slowing down in 2019. In fact, I think it's going to accelerate."

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