2016 could be a boon year for hyperconverged vendors. As I covered in a recent blog/video, nearly 70% of IT respondents to ESG’s survey on hybrid cloud trends indicated they plan to adopt hyperconverged solutions. While this is clearly a bullish signal, one area that gives IT planners cause for concern is vendor lock-in. In fact, these same IT respondents cited “giving too much control to one vendor” and “vendor lock-in” as two reasons that might dissuade them from using hyperconverged technology. But what if a hyperconverged solution could allay these concerns by helping businesses eliminate hypervisor software lock-in?
Let’s take VMware vSphere. VMware owns the server virtualization space. However, Microsoft’s Hyper-V and open source hypervisors like KVM are making steady inroads into the data center. Many IT planners wish to diversify their hypervisor footprint to reduce costs and frankly, not be so dependent on VMware. This isn’t to say that VMware customers are unhappy with vSphere. Quite the contrary. Most end-users that I speak with often use the word “love” when they talk about their VMware experience. At the same time, however, they’re not so enamored with their licensing fees. Ultimately, it’s a question of balance. How can organizations choose the right hypervisor for the right application workload, to potentially reduce costs, without adding management complexity?
Before answering that question, it would be remiss not to include how businesses can manage mixed hypervisor workloads across hybrid cloud environments. According to ESG’s soon-to-be-released 2016 IT Spending Intentions Survey, businesses now regard the use of public cloud computing services as their top way to reduce IT costs. This means that as organizations formulate their private cloud strategies, they will want simple ways to fluidly manage heterogenous virtualized workloads across multiple cloud environments to take advantage of low cost resources in the cloud. In addition, they need tools that can help drive improved resource efficiencies on-premise.
To tackle these issues, hyperconverged player Nutanix recently announced three new key capabilities available with the 4.6 release of their software platform:
- Application Mobility “Fabric” — Nutanix introduced the Acropolis hypervisor (KVM) last year as an alternative to vSphere. This is made feasible by Prism’s one-click migration feature which allows vSphere application workloads to seamlessly port to the Nutanix Acropolis hypervisor. This same capability is now being extended to the public cloud. vSphere and Acropolis hypervisor workloads can be easily ported to and from the public cloud, via a powerful REST API, to enable businesses to manage and support multiple, heterogeneous virtualized workloads across hybrid cloud environments. This can potentially help improve business agility, increase operational efficiencies and reduce costs.
- Universal Control Plane — Through Prism, Nutanix administrators can manage virtualized workloads across hybrid cloud infrastructure without having to layer in multiple management tools from 3rd party cloud service providers. This helps to maintain infrastructure simplicity and give businesses user more choice over which cloud services they wish to consume.
- Prism Pro — Many IT planners claim that server sprawl in the enterprise has been replaced by VM sprawl. Trying to identify where there are dormant VMs with underutilized compute and storage capacity can be time consuming and challenging. Likewise, predicting when more resources will be needed to support growing virtualized environments can often amount to little more than guesswork. Prism Pro is designed to enhance resource optimization and bring greater predictability to capacity planning and forecasting efforts.
Nutanix is extending their vision of infrastructure invisibility into hybrid cloud workload management with the 4.6 version release of their software. Their offering can provide businesses with a rapid and simple way to gain enterprise hybrid cloud computing capabilities while delivering more choice for the business.