The Nutanix platform is evolving to help customers take advantage of all their applications, whether on-premise, in private clouds, or on public clouds.

‘We aim to make enterprise computing invisible,” explains Rob Tribe, chief technology officer of Nutanix EMEA.

This started with making infrastructure invisible, and has moved up the stack to making data centres invisible, with one-click private cloud operations. The next step is to make clouds invisible, with one-click multi-cloud management.

“We do this by making it super-simple and easy,” Tribe says.


One-click infrastructure

On the infrastructure layer, Nutanix offers hyperconvergence in the form of virtual machine services, file services, object services and block services.

“This is to deliver applications to the business,” Tribe says. “We are not trying to deliver file services, but the actual files and software.”

With an application driven infrastructure, enabled by Era, this is possible.

Nutanix Era kicks off with delivering one-click databases, taking care of provisioning and lifecycle management. It takes out all the complexity, reducing a process that could take days and many people to accomplish, to a single administrator performing the task in minutes.

“This is a massive change in how you deliver,” says Tribe. “And it’s just the start. In the months and years to come we will focus on other applications as well.”

Nutanix Era is a set of enterprise cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings to streamline and automate database operations so database administrators (DBAs) can focus on business-driving initiatives.

With Era, Nutanix is targeting one of the most prodigious consumers of enterprise storage capacity: according to IDC, as much as 60% of the IT storage budget goes to support copy data, and the total cost for copy data will reach $55,63-billion in 2020.

Nutanix Era will allow enterprises to reduce storage costs, simplify the management, control and security of data, while easing the complexity of database lifecycle operations.

Nutanix Era’s copy data management service will initially support Oracle and Postgres  database engines, with planned support for other popular databases.

Building on Nutanix’s snapshot technology, Era will also incorporate new time-machine capabilities, along with application-specific APIs, for creating point-in-time database copies. This enables application developers to quickly select the exact database copy they need, and empowers database administrators to quickly restore or refresh any database instance with the confidence that every recorded transaction is captured.

Key capabilities of Nutanix Era will include:

* One-click time machine — leveraging integrated Nutanix snapshot technology, Era creates space-efficient database snapshots to lower capex costs, and enable databases running on Nutanix to be cloned or recovered to any specific point in time – up to the last recorded transaction.

* One-click clone/refresh — Nutanix Era lowers OpEx costs with one-click clone/restore database operations that include all targeted database transactions and take just minutes to complete. Automating database cloning eliminates the complex and time-consuming process of locating a specific snapshot, finding the right database logs and then initiating a database recovery operation.


One-click data centre

Invisible data centres, the next step, are enabled by the Acropolis hypervisor and Prism.

Acropolis was designed to simplify the hypervisor experience. Tribe points to a number of successful enterprise users, including one that is running 80 000 virtual desktops using the Acropolis hypervisor.

A new addition to the stack is Flow, which brings software-defined networking and enables one-click secure networks in a simple and easy-to-deliver way.

Flow offers built-in network visibility, integrated network provisioning and one-click micro-segmentation.

Flow provides application-centric security to protect against internal and external threats not detected by traditional perimeter-oriented security products.

Flow capabilities are fully integrated into Nutanix’s Acropolis software for easy deployment and will be enhanced with realtime application visibility and discovery technology from the company’s acquisition of Netsil. Nutanix Flow non-intrusively automates the creation and management of application security.

Enterprise IT teams are turning to cloud-based infrastructure to deliver today’s modern business applications, many of which are built from discrete but interconnected services. Protecting these applications requires the microsegmentation capabilities of Nutanix Flow, which enforces app-centric policies that govern communications between individual application services.

Nutanix will also leverage Netsil’s advanced stream processing, application discovery and mapping technology to simplify security policy definition for applications running in both public and private clouds. IT teams and business owners gain the confidence that their business applications are protected from both internal and external security threats.

Nutanix Flow is built into the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS, and today provides:

* Network visualisation — giving application owners an at-a-glance view of network performance and availability per application.

* Application-centric microsegmentation — providing granular control and governance for all application traffic to protect sensitive workloads and data.

* Service insertion and chaining — integrating additional network functions from multiple Nutanix Ready ecosystem partners into a single networking policy.

* Network automation — streamlining and automating common network configuration changes, like VLAN configuration or load balancer policy modifications, based on application lifecycle events for VMs running on Nutanix AHV

To accelerate infrastructure innovation and agility, Gartner recommends that infrastructure and operations leaders “make network automation, visualization and optimisation capabilities an integral part of their selection process by prioritising vendors that provide an application-specific view of cluster performance.”


One-click cloud

When it comes to invisible clouds, Calm and Beam come to the fore.

Calm is an automation tool, built into the stack, that automated provisioning and delivery of applications across public and cloud, private cloud and n-premise.

“So you have blueprints that ensure the platform makes the right choice at the right time,” Tribe explains.

Compliance and governance cannot be underestimated, Tribe adds. Nutanix Beam is a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that delivers multi-cloud governance so organisations can manage their spending, security and regulatory compliance across nearly any cloud platform.

Beam is based on Nutanix’s recently-acquired Minjar Botmetric service, which is already used to manage more than $1B of cloud spend across Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

Beam is the first SaaS offering from Nutanix, providing deep visibility and rich analytics detailing how customers are using the public cloud. It also provides one-click recommendations based on machine intelligence so IT teams can immediately optimise their cloud spend and enhance their security posture for improved compliance across clouds.

Nutanix Beam customers better manage their multi-cloud deployments with:

* Cost optimisation and cloud visibility — IT teams get full visibility into their overall cloud costs. They can then optimise their spending by quickly identifying unused and underutilised resources, and select more size and cost appropriate cloud resources for each application.

* Centralised financial governance — businesses get streamlined visibility into the entire cloud footprint so IT departments can track the consumption of cloud resources by department and group, make data-driven decisions balancing IT needs and cost constraints, and enforce policies based on allocated budgets.

* Continuous cloud security and regulatory compliance — customers can define custom health check policies for compliance audits, and proactively analyse cloud security operations, while realtime scans for cloud compliance identify risks and violations.

Xi aims to make the hybrid cloud invisible, moving workloads between on premise, private and public cloud infrastructures in a seamless and transparent way.

“Every cloud provider has their own set of APIs, and the way the engage, configure, backup and even delete them are all different,” says Tribe.

“So the trick is to build a software layer that spans all of that and abstracts you away from that. So you don’t care where anything sits, and you manage it in the same way regardless of where it is delivered.”

Xi will offer the same tooling and the same operations, so there will be no more lift and shift, Tribe says.


One-click solutions from Fujitsu

Fujitsu has partnered with Nutanix to offer its one-click solutions.

Paul Ruinaard, country manager of Nutanix SA, explains that increasing levels of complexity is hurting business.

“A legacy IT infrastructure has got many points of failure,” he explains.

Nutanix helps to reduce the complexity, ensuring that deployment time is radically reduced.

“IT organisations spend 80% of their time just patching and maintaining the infrastructure. And some of it can’t be patched, so there are security implications.”

As IT plays catch-up, organisations are moving to the cloud simply to be able to run their applications quickly.

“The utility-based model lets users consumer IT without having to worry about the infrastructure issues,” Ruinaard says.

IT has to regain control of multi-cloud world. This will be driven by a few imperatives, including lower overall TCO, more agility, faster; full visibility into costs; acting as a strategic partner to the business; and meeting SLAs while maintaining control and security.

“You have to bridge these two worlds, offering the same solutions and tools. That is te challenge,” Ruinaard explains.

Nutanix is focused on what Ruinaard describes as replatforming the enterprise data centre.

“We probably spend 70% of our time simply figuring out the resourcing of the data centre,” he explains.

Nutanix puts the infrastructure into an appliance-based environment that offers integrated, scale-out compute and storage with built-in virtualisation, network, security and management.

“This has simplified a huge amount of operations in the data centre,” Ruinaard points out.

It has also grown over the last few years into a single platform for all applications and data supported by storage services, virtual workloads and cloud-native apps.

“We have realised that the platforming of the data centre can lock customers in. By putting a software layer on it, you can run various different platforms on the same architecture.

“This offers freedom of choice when it comes to the platform,” Ruinaard says “We have also abstracted the environment from the hypervisor, which gives customers more choice.”

The net result, he adds, is an enterprise cloud that gives the organisation the freedom to choose the environment that suits them best, embracing networking, hyperconvergence, virtualisation, platform and infrastructure services, app and infrastructure management, clouds and multi-cloud management – all working on any hardware platform.

The Nutanix journey starts with modernising the data centre and experimenting with hyperconvergence, Ruinaard explains.

The next step is to run the business on an enterprise cloud with a single operation system delivering the full IT stack.

Following is the move to bring cloud-native infrastructure to app developers, creating on environment for all modern applications and services.

The final step is to converge private and public cloud with unified operations for all clouds.

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