Well Nutanix .NEXT has come and gone and as I continue to digest all the announcements from Nutanix, one word comes to mind that expresses my thoughts: ambition. Why? They don't want to just be the HCI infrastructure in a data center. They want to be the data center. They want to enable hybrid cloud. They want to enable multi-cloud. They want to simplify the smart edge and enable IoT. And they want all the complexity associated with all of it to be invisible.
Nutanix continues to have a vision centered on simplifying everything in an IT environment. And they want to execute against this vision with a 3,000-person company that is rapidly expanding. While all of this is a massive undertaking for Nutanix, with their passionate team and most importantly their passionate customers, they have the potential to succeed.
There were tons of topics and announcements across multiple keynotes, but here are a handful that I'm most interested in:
- Calm – Continues to be a key solution for existing Nutanix customers and a key talking point for Nutanix. Calm provides application automation and lifecycle management, helping to orchestrate provisioning, scaling, and management across IT environments. A big aspect of Calm is the ability to create customized blueprints for apps, and at the show, we were shown one-click deployments of Kubernetes on Nutanix via Calm.
- Netsil and Flow – Nuntanix talked hyperconverging the network with micro-segmentation across on-prem and cloud environments. The demo highlighted visibility into network performance, automated network configuration, one-click segmentation, application discovery, real-time topology, live reporting, and more.
- Beam – From the Minjar acquisition and integrated with Botmetric, Beam serves as a SaaS offering that helps organizations easily manage cost, security, and governance in multi-cloud environments (currently Microsoft and AWS only). During the keynote, we saw a demo and the cost transparency and intuitiveness was pretty impressive.
- Era – Simplifying the creation and management of databases through automation and lifecycle management. The first phase of Era focuses on copy data management, enabling DBAs to provision, clone, restore, and refresh a database to any point in time with one-click simplicity.
- Xi - Nutanix’s integrated public cloud environment that can be instantly provisioned and automatically configured was announced at .NEXT 2017, but we're still waiting on the first service focused on cloud DR. At .NEXT 2018, they promised support for all the aforementioned announcements.
- Project Sherlock – With goals of simplifying the smart edge and IoT, Satyam Vaghani demoed an intuitive, centrally-managed platform that, through a slick UI, could easily add/combine data sources, select processing engines, and format desired outputs on analytic workflows focused on IoT devices at the edge.
Nutanix feels that they've achieved their goal of making the core infrastructure "invisible" with core HCI. And of course they'll continue to innovate and optimize on the front (they’re adding object storage and Kubernetes support to AFS 2.0), but the next phase is supporting the cloud and making the cloud “invisible.” This is a somewhat natural shift for them going from an IaaS approach on-premises to a PaaS approach with cloud integrations, partnerships, and eventually Xi. And it's important to note that all of this is wrapped together with a single OS, the Nutanix enterprise cloud OS.
Put it altogether and the ambitious vision is quite clear: one-click simplicity across the entire IT stack—from on-prem to multi-cloud—with one OS.