Nutanix Enhances Its Enterprise Cloud OS With Public, Private Cloud Capabilities

Nutanix Wednesday extended its reach beyond its traditional hyper-converged infrastructure technology to expand its Enterprise Cloud OS with what it called both public cloud and private cloud capabilities.

Nutanix used its .Next conference, being held this week in Paris, to introduce new compute flexibility, object storage, and a new app marketplace service to make it easier for its channel partners to build cloud-like infrastructures, said Greg Smith, vice president of product marketing for the San Jose, Calif.-based vendor.

Nutanix is demonstrating that it is moving beyond basic hyper-converged infrastructure to deliver advanced services for application developers, Smith told CRN.

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"For the past year to year and a half, we've been talking about helping customers build enterprise clouds with the same simplicity and flexibility of public clouds with the privacy and control of public clouds," he said.

Nutanix's Enterprise Cloud OS is software that provides customers a cloud-like experience at multiple locations across a variety of platforms, Smith said. The software runs not only on Nutanix appliances, but also on popular server platforms from Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Cisco as well as on servers from OEM partners including Dell EMC, Lenovo and IBM, he said.

Enterprise Cloud OS allows independent scaling of compute and storage capacity depending on workload. "We provide customers with choice," he said. "This is a key differentiator for Nutanix. Customers can run it on their own hardware."

New to the Enterprise Cloud OS software are capabilities that make it act like a public cloud while still securing the environment as if it were a private cloud, Smith said.

The first update is the Acropolis Compute Cloud, which takes advantage of Nutanix's Acropolis hypervisor to let customers dynamically add compute resources to virtual machines, Smith said. "Acropolis Compute Cloud lets customers add compute resources for compute-intense applications," he said. "Once they have dynamically added compute to the environment, it can be assigned to virtual machines."

The second is the addition of AWS S3-compatible object storage to extend the data management capabilities beyond block and file storage, Smith said. Acropolis Object Storage Service will collect, store and manage billions of objects in a single namespace to use as needed, including for archiving as part of a multi-cloud strategy, he said.

"We're adding object storage for unstructured data," he said. "This targets all types of machine data that needs to be managed in large volumes. This lets developers develop and run apps in either public clouds or on the Acropolis hypervisor. It uses the AWS S3 API, which is compatible with public cloud storage environments to make it easier to develop apps and make them portable."

Nutanix also introduced Nutanix App Marketplace services as part of Nutanix Calm, the company’s multi-cloud application automation and orchestration offering first introduced in June.

Nutanix App Marketplace lets new and existing applications be defined via standards-based blueprints and then published to a marketplace to provide self-service access to those applications, Smith said. "Customers can define all the elements of their apps in a blueprint with all the virtual machines, scripts, and so on," he said.

Nutanix is also providing pre-integrated and validated blueprints to help partners and customers adopt common infrastructure and developer tools including Kubernetes, Hadoop, MySQL, Jenkins and Puppet, Smith said.

Partners are getting ready, said Nigel Buttery, president of Slait Consulting, a Virginia Beach, Va.-based solution provider and Nutanix channel partner.

Slait Consulting has been talking with Nutanix about Calm since it was introduced and has found its services team already has the experience to handle the scripts needed to deploy and migrate applications using the technology, Buttery told CRN. "We see this as something our clients need," he said. "Everybody is talking about how to lower the cost of application deployments. If we can deliver applications via Calm, everybody benefits."

Slait Consulting has already delivered cloud-like capabilities using Nutanix technology, including the deployment of a 20,000-seat virtual desktop infrastructure for a large enterprise client, and looks forward to using the new flexible compute and object storage enhancements, Buttery said.

"The definition of 'cloud' is in the eye of the beholder," he said. "If you ask 10 people what is a private or hybrid cloud, you'll get 10 different answers. A 20,000-seat VDI deployment is a cloud. Nutanix let us provide dynamic deployment and a very scalable environment. The alternative would be a traditional converged infrastructure like a FlexPod or Vblock."

Nutanix is a 100 percent channel-focused company, and new capabilities like flexible compute, object storage and a cloud-like marketplace are open to all partners, Smith said.

"There's a healthy number of our channel partners asking for these additional capabilities," he said. We've already trained hundreds of partners on Nutanix Calm. And we're beginning to provide them with training and tools for the new Enterprise Cloud OS capabilities like we do with every major software release."

Nutanix has not yet disclosed availability and pricing of the new Enterprise Cloud OS enhancements.