Nutanix CEO On ‘Funky’ Nutanix On AWS Xi Clusters For Hybrid Cloud

‘That’s the real deal about this whole thing -- that we can create hybrid clouds in one or two clicks. In less than half an hour, you have a hybrid cloud running,’ says Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey in regards to Nutanix Xi Clusters for AWS.

In a move to create hybrid clouds in just a few clicks, Nutanix is making its software portfolio available on AWS in a “funky” new way with the unveiling of Xi Clusters this week at Nutanix .NEXT.

Xi Clusters allows AWS customers to leverage their existing environments and launch Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS without the need to create a new AWS account, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) or WAN networking. With the new offering, the complete Nutanix hyper-converged infrastructure stack runs directly on the AWS EC2 bare metal instances.

Nutanix founder and CEO Dheeraj Pandey told CRN that Nutanix software will become an application running inside the Amazon platform.

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“When you take our software and run it in the Amazon platform – we become an app. So all of a sudden, Nutanix’s app is running inside the Amazon platform. That’s the real deal about this whole thing -- that we can create hybrid clouds in one or two clicks. In less than half an hour, you have a hybrid cloud running,” said Pandey.

[Related: ‘Big Deal’: Nutanix Enters Secondary Storage Market With Nutanix Mine]

“So all of a sudden, all of Nutanix’s SaaS portfolio – like Frame, like Beam, like Calm – really become relevant in the way [channel partners] actually go and start their projects for a hybrid cloud customer,” Pandey said.

Xi Clusters provides native access to AWS EC2 Fabric, bringing up Nutanix’s Acropolis Operating Systems (AOS) nodes in AWS bare metal servers that are managed by using Nutanix Prism Central management console. Applications can span Nutanix on Amazon EC2 bare metal instances which utilize the same Amazon VPC networks, meaning there is no overlays, or VPC silos and no need for multiple consoles.

Pandey said the new solution, which is expected to become generally available in the near future, will enable Nutanix channel partners to deliver value-added services on top.

“Services like disaster recovery for business continuity, services like microsegmentation that run in a hybrid cloud way,” said Pandey. “A lot of the partners would love to learn about the public cloud through the lens and the eyes of the company Nutanix. ... We’re really bringing a lot of the public cloud mechanisms and a lot of public cloud facilities and technologies in a form factor that’s readable, understandable, meaningful, easy to use for the partners and the engineers within the partners themselves.”

Xi Clusters are designed to look virtually the same as on-premise Nutanix clusters. The clusters run the complete Nutanix AOS and AHV hypervisor stack with no change in APIs or user interface.

In terms of security, Xi Clusters preserve security constructs across the public and private cloud along with consistent security as apps move back and forth between clouds.

Nutanix’s Xi Clusters allows customers to spin up clusters on demand and in minutes. As capacity requirements of a cluster increases or decreases, nodes can be added or removed on demand.

“The fact that in a hybrid cloud that we can get it up and running, we can also hibernate those clusters. All of a sudden, you get true burst capacity with the public cloud itself,” said Pandey. “[Partners] can now focus on the things like business continuity or migration, on software-define networking and security, on security compliance and cross governance projects.”

Nutanix .NEXT is taking place in Anaheim, Calif. from May 7 to May 9.