Rick Azoy – CTO, Alturna-Tech

I recently attended the .NEXT Conference, held by hyper-convergence leader Nutanix. This year’s annual event was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, with nearly 5500 people in attendance. This was my second Nutanix conference (last year being in Washington DC) and New Orleans was an excellent choice. I got to experience New Orleans rich history, vibrant culture, and great. In typical .NEXT fashion, Nutanix closed their conference at the famous Mardi Gras World with none other than Kool & the Gang, serving great food from local restaurants such as famous Café du Monde.

Several significant announcements were made on new products and features during the conference:

  • Nutanix Beam: Rebranding of the Botmetric acquisition by Nutanix. This adds Cost Optimization and Visibility, Centralized Financial Governance and Intelligent Consumption Planning to the Nutanix Cloud Management suite.
  • Nutanix Era: Suite of software that adds Database Lifecycle Management to the Nutanix Cloud Management suite. Version 1.0 will support Oracle and PostgreSQL databases.
  • Nutanix Flow: Includes incorporation of Netsil acquisition by Nutanix. Provides East/West micro-segmentation, application traffic visualization, and service chaining.
  • Nutanix Xtract: new version will support migration from AWS EC2 to Nutanix AHV.
  • Nutanix X-Ray: Automated test platform will be open-sourced and the latest version supports testing of Microsoft Hyper-V and Storage Spaces.

Nutanix is getting closer to their Enterprise Cloud vision with the release of Beam, Flow and Netsil.

Nutanix Beam complements their approach to enable organizations to automate application provisioning and lifecycle management across multiple clouds. Companies can optimize costs across multiple environments while delivering governance with added business level insights.  

“It provides cost optimization and security compliance for public clouds like AWS and Microsoft Azure. As companies of all sizes have made the leap to public cloud infrastructure, and many people and groups within organizations take advantage of public cloud services, that sort of uncontrolled, undisciplined use of public cloud results in, at times, exceedingly high costs. Beam breaks it down and shows you exactly what cloud services are being used, who’s using them, how much of those services are being consumed, and how much it costs.”, said Greg Smith, vice president of product marketing for Nutanix.

Nutanix Flow is the company’s new software-defined networking offering designed for multi-cloud environments. If you’re familiar with VMWare NSX, you’ll love Flow. This is especially true for customers who have invested in Nutanix but NSX has been one of the reasons why they were reluctant to migrate over to AHV. Flow provides application-centric security to protect against internal and external threats that are undetected by traditional perimeter-oriented security products. As enterprises are turning to cloud-based infrastructure for modern business applications, protecting the application requires Flow’s micro-segmentation capabilities, according to Smith.

“It includes automating network provisioning and managing, but most notably native micro-segmentation services that govern traffic between individual applications to protect those applications against both internal and external threats,” said Smith. Flow is built into the company’s Enterprise Cloud OS, so there is “no separate product to install, manage, upgrade – it’s completely built-in,” he said.

This past March, Nutanix acquired application discovery and operations management startup Netsil. Nutanix is integrating Netsil’s advanced stream processing, application discovery and mapping technology into Nutanix Flow in order to simplify security policy definition for applications running in both public and private clouds.

“What that will allow us to do is discover the applications in the environment and discover all the interdependency relationships between individual services so that we can define and enforce very find-grained application security policies all the way down to individual database calls, API endpoints, et cetera.,” said Smith. 

Nutanix also mentioned the object-based storage space in their product roadmap session. As 2020 nears, IDC predicts that data growth will hit 40 zettabytes with unstructured data accounting for 63% of it. That’s a massive amount of unstructured data, and enterprises currently store it in complex, difficult-to-manage, limited-scale silos. To date, customers combat this challenge by leveraging solutions from our partnered vendor, Cloudian. Nutanix has chosen to address this challenge with a new object-based storage service called Acropolis Object Storage Service or AOSS. The advantage that we see here is that it is being built on top of the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS and will inherit all core data path efficiencies such as compression, deduplication, erasure coding and more. Like other Object Based Storage solutions, Nutanix will leverage the S3 APIs for AOSS.

In discussions with the product marketing team, Nutanix plans to move its already popular feature Acropolis File Services, or AFS, on top of its Object Based Storage Service to address the inherent limitations with CIFs. They are also looking to incorporate intelligent data management features similar to those of another one of our partnering vendors, Komprise, to transparently archive, replication, and migrate data across tiers and Clouds. This will give customers another option to save costs on storage while still providing a global namespace for the unstructured data. Nutanix will have to achieve similar density, form factor and cost per GB as Cloudian if they wish to convince customers to leverage AOSS over the competition. AOSS is currently under development and pricing details are not available as of yet.

We were very pleased with the announcements and innovation that Nutanix continues to deliver. Their current technology portfolio continues to widen the gap between them and their competitors, solidifying their spot Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Hyperconverged Infrastructure.

We look forward to Nutanix .Next 2019 held in Anaheim, CA.

Until then, contact us for more information on any of these features or on how we can help you achieve the journey to an invisible infrastructure.