Nutanix intros HCI software innovations

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Paul Ruinaard, country manager, Nutanix Sub-Saharan Africa.
Paul Ruinaard, country manager, Nutanix Sub-Saharan Africa.

Enterprise cloud computing company, Nutanix, has unveiled major new capabilities in its hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) software, delivering what it calls significant innovations to the data centre and cloud markets.

According to Paul Ruinaard, country manager for Nutanix Sub-Saharan Africathe company believes it is  important to continue to deliver an innovative approach where it can leverage new hardware that is coming out and be able to deliver it far more effectively.

He says the innovations announced this week will deliver up to 50% faster performance, native virtual networking to simplify multi-cloud deployments, end-to-end security monitoring to support a zero-trust strategy, as well as application insights, and expanded automation and budgeting capabilities for cloud resources. 

Firstly, Nutanix has advanced its HCI architecture to benefit from the latest in storage technologies, including NVMe-based SSDs and Intel Optane SSDs. The resulting lower latency will deliver up to 50% faster performance for I/O intensive workloads, such as large databases and large-scale healthcare applications. The advancements also improve VM density to lower the overall total cost of ownership for all applications.

In addition, Nutanix’s Blockstore technology self-manages storage with significantly greater efficiency than traditional file systems. The company's HCI software also adds support for storage performance development kit, currently available to customers as a technology preview, an open source library developed by Intel that enables applications to access NVMe capacity directly, avoiding any operating system or kernel-level overhead to drive even faster workload performance.

Security enhancements

There are also security enhancements in line with Nutanix’s aim to deliver secure infrastructure services. The company debuted Flow Security Central, a centralised SaaS-based management plane that brings compliance monitoring, network visibility and security operations across both Nutanix-powered private clouds and public cloud environments.

Moreover, the company says any zero-trust strategy requires granular network policy controls and the ability to monitor and update those controls in real-time. However, many businesses struggle with application visibility and unified security management. Flow Security Central gives customers a hub for their security operations to help them easily assess the overall security posture of their Nutanix deployments, generate detailed recommendations to bring environments into compliance, and provide the network visibility and context needed to secure cloud networks and applications.

Over and above Security Central, the company released additional security capabilities, currently under development, to help customers strengthen their zero-trust strategy. These include extensions to Nutanix’s native key manager and data encryption to deliver a simplified and secure environment for edge and ROBO deployments; AHV support for Microsoft’s virtualisation-based security; and Credential Guard that helps protect Windows VDI desktops against sophisticated memory attacks.

Virtual networking

Today, the company announced that new virtual networking capabilities in Nutanix Flow, which are natively integrated into the Nutanix HCI software stack, are under development.

Based on virtual private cloud constructs used by major public cloud providers, Flow Networking aims to simplify the tasks of creating, isolating and managing software-defined networks that connect applications running in private data centres and in public cloud environments, significantly simplifying networking for hybrid and multi-cloud deployments.

Applications insights

Nutanix also announced enhanced infrastructure operations management for IT teams and application developers. Prism Ultimate, a new edition to Prism, adds advanced application insights and automation for troubleshooting application-related infrastructure bottlenecks. 

It also offers visibility of cloud IT resource consumption for targeted IT cost reductions and more accurate budgeting. In addition, Nutanix Prism can monitor non-Nutanix environments, including popular virtualisation stacks, giving Nutanix customers a single pane of glass for their entire infrastructure, including legacy infrastructure environments.

The company’s CTO Rajiv Mirani says its engineers and architects are building the foundation for hybrid architectures to run their applications and manage their growing volume of data, something even more important now as IT is playing a more strategic role.

“To help our customers transition to hybrid and multi-cloud operating models, Nutanix has made significant investments in research and development to advance our core software stack. These new capabilities will help further strengthen the performance and reliability of our software, extending our journey across networking, security, performance and automation.”

New software-defined networking capabilities in Nutanix Flow are currently under development, the company ends.

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