Nutanix partners with MS Azure

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Dheeraj Pandey, CEO of Nutanix.
Dheeraj Pandey, CEO of Nutanix.

Cloud computing company Nutanix on Wednesday announced a number of updates to its hyper-converged software, as well as a new partnership with Microsoft Azure and a Kubernetes-based multi-cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS).

CEO Dheeraj Pandey, who also announced his retirement at the end of August after 11 years at the helm of the company, told South African journalists on a call this week that the term HCI (hyper-converged infrastructure) should, in fact, be renamed as “hyper-cloud infrastructure” to better reflect the trend of the convergence of cloud providers.

“That’s what the journey of HCI will be in this coming decade – to converge all the cloud locations so that it looks like a singular cloud for our customers,” he said.

The company said its solution is being used by over 17 000 customers and its HCI offering has been named as the leader by Forrester in its hyper-converged infrastructure market report from Q3 2020.

Following its announcement in August of the availability of Nutanix clusters on Amazon Web Service, it said its partnership with Microsoft meant that both companies will now be able to deliver a hybrid cloud solution across on-premises and Azure environments.

The tie-up includes the development of “Nutanix-ready” nodes on Azure to support Nutanix clusters and services.

Customers will be able to deploy and manage Azure instances from Nutanix’s management interface, and run hybrid workloads across private and public cloud without needing to re-architect applications. Customers will also be able to choose the right cloud for each workload, without having to manage multiple environments.

Asked if the company was going to work with any of the other hyperscalers, Panday said it now had two, of the big three, or four.

“Doing the second one (with Azure) was really important, and now we can prove that we can leverage our software and bolt it to pretty much all the clouds.”

He said he expected to work with the other hyperscalers, demonstrating the portability of its software.

Craigh Stuart, Nutanix systems engineering manager for SADC, said that whether customers were trying to refactor modern applications into the cloud, or trying to “lift and shift” workloads, it required work on a “lot of wiring into your apps”.

“You’ve always got to be conscious of never changing the external behaviour of the application. But then how do you change it in such a way that it’s highly scalable across multiple clouds and simple to consume and, more importantly, easy to operate?”

New services

Thecompany also announced its Karbon Platform Services, a Kunernetes multi-cloud PaaS for the deployment of microservices-based apps on any cloud.

Stuart says Karbon-as-a-Service was the blending two worlds. “It’s bringing the containerisation aspect into the application refactoring, but it’s allowing you to do a lot more stuff around building better pipelines and being able to merge that into a public cloud.

“If I take IOT as an example, we’re using containers to develop those IOT applications, but we have the ability to offer Function-as-a-Service, where we can transform that data and output that into a cloud of your choosing. It’s not just a container platform, there so much more to it. We’re merging all these worlds together.”

Rajiv Mirani, CTO at Nutanix, said IT resources are now the engines that power digital enterprises.

“But as a company scales, adopts hybrid cloud, and manages an increasing number of applications, supporting engineering needs can be challenging for IT.”

With Karbon, it aims to simplify application development and orchestration, and includes automated security features with multi-tenancy and role-based access control.

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