Major Nutanix Software Update Expands Hyper-converged Infrastructure With New SDN, Security Capabilities

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Nutanix has unveiled some significant new software-defined networking (SDN), automation and orchestration capabilities to its hyper-converged infrastructure appliance line.

The new enhancements, announced Wednesday, include monitoring and managing external physical and virtual networks and micro-segmenting workloads for enhanced security and management. The update is part of a move by Nutanix to better manage modern and enterprise-class workloads, said Greg Smith, senior director of product and technical marketing for the San Jose, Calif.-based hyper-converged infrastructure vendor.

The expanded solution set was unveiled at Nutanix's .NEXT Europe conference in Vienna.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Nutanix, SimpliVity, Pivot3 Are Tops In New Forrester Hyper-Converged Report]

Smith told CRN there are three main areas where the Nutanix line of hyper-converged infrastructure appliances is being expanded.

"These three new enhancements fall under our new one-click networking solution," he said. "This is the first time for us to managing the networking. It is part of a longer-term strategy to run our technology across public and private clouds, on-premises and in heterogeneous environments."

The enhancements are in line with what Nutanix channel partners were expecting from the company, said Mike Strohl, CEO of Entisys360, a Concord, Calif.-based solution provider and Nutanix partner. "Nutanix is removing layers of complexity to increase the types of workloads that work on its solutions while adding a more secure environment," Strohl told CRN.

The first enhancement is that Nutanix is adding increased visibility and management across both physical and software-defined networks to which the appliances are connected.

As part of the enhancement, the Nutanix Prism software stack will provide a comprehensive application-centric visualization of the physical and virtual network topology, Smith said. This includes detailed views of how individual virtual machines connect to the physical and virtual network infrastructure, along with detailed networking health and performance data.

"Now we can begin to manage and change policies across the networking infrastructure," he said. "An application running on Nutanix needs APIs to communicate with devices on the network. Now the Nutanix appliances can connect to those devices without the need for manual reconfiguration. This allows the appliance to modify the software and firewalls to support the connections."

nknown ObjectThe second upgrade to the Nutanix stack new micro-segmentation technology which works with the Nutanix Acropolis hypervisor to statefully inspect, monitor and manage communication between individual workloads to increase the security of the various applications.

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