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Nutanix SVP: Edge Computing, Not Public Cloud, ‘The Center Of Gravity’

‘We need to make it equally, if not more convenient, for people to create applications on the edge than in the cloud,’ says Satyam Vaghani, SVP and GM of Nutanix’s IoT and AI business in an interview with CRN.

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How does Nutanix’s edge strategy stack up against competitors like Dell and HPE as well as public cloud providers?

There are many vendors whose edge computing model is providing new types of hardware form factors for the edge. We think that needs to happen, but just like how it’s been proven in the private and public cloud, the key differentiation is going to be on the software side. That answers to a big bucket of people who are focusing on hardware innovation at the edge. We are different from the edge. We are a layer above. The second big bucket like hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) vendors, including Nutanix, you could make a point that you can run HCI at the edge and that makes it all very simple. You don’t need to buy SANs on the edge and switches and all that nonsense -- that’s true -- but unfortunately the edge is not just virtual machines. It is also a whole new generation of micro-services-based applications. So applications that are on AI, containers and so on. You need to answer for both. You need to answer with HCI, that’s a starting point, but you also need to have a story on the other part. So that’s where I see us pulling away. The distance, in my biased opinion, is pretty big, because we answer to both sides. We have an HCI play on the edge but then we throw Xi Edge and Xi IoT. Now we have this incredible edge PaaS (Platform as-a-Service) on the edge as well.

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