Observations from Nutanix .NEXT US 2017

Nutanix does not want to be known for simply hyper-converged infrastructure. That was made very clear during Nutanix’s .NEXT conference in Washington DC two weeks ago. As Trevor Pott said in a recent article from The Register, “if all you’ve got to sell is HCI, then your company is already dead.” Nutanix is choosing to evolve rather than die.

Calm Yourself! 

Since Calm.io (orchestration company) was acquired last year, I have been patiently waiting to see what Nutanix would do with it. We are finally privy to what has been happening behind the curtains. Rebranded Calm, it will be used as Nutanix’s automation, orchestration, lifecycle took. The best part is that it is built directly within Prism. Prism’s simple one-click centralized management and UI has long been one of Nutanix’s strengths in my opinion. A sleek and easy to navigate and use UI is an imperative part of any product. Using Calm, you will be able to built out blueprints that contain all the application requirements and orchestrate its delivery.

ntnx_blueprint

Screenshot of Calm from .NEXT session

Cloud for All

Xi Cloud Services act as a native extension to the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform, delivering an integrated public cloud environment that can be instantly provisioned and automatically configured. Xi will be integrated into your existing infrastructure so that you may harness the power of the cloud while still leveraging your on-premises resources. This helps maximize your budget while still meeting SLA requirements.

The first offering to be available is Xi DR, making disaster recovery a native Nutanix service. Every hour your Nutanix licensing, configurations, and data is replicated from your data center to a remote Xi Cloud Services environment. Automated runbook functionality is included to take care of things like re-IP of VMs and boot order.

ntnx-xi1

Logical overview of Xi DR

Something about Google Cloud

The partnership between Nutanix and Google Cloud allows for you to easily store and access your data across Xi, Google Cloud, and on-premises. All this without having to manually migrate your data from one location to another. Additionally, also announced is the ability to do one-click hybrid operations between Nutanix and Google Cloud with Calm. This goes back to my love of having a single interface or utility to do it all; I’m looking forward to seeing this in action.

Xtract your VMs

Nutanix is doubling down on AHV. I’m interested to see whether to adoption rate increases or not after the introduction of the more fully featured v3 REST APIs. With v3, we’re now seeing different data protection companies announcing and releasing support for backup and restore of AHV VMs. At .NEXT Nutanix announced Xtract, which will allow you to more easily complete a bulk migration of vSphere VMs to AHV. Unlike other migration/convertor tools of the past, I’m interested to see how smoothly this tool works. Read more about it here.

ntnx_xtract-02

Screenshot of Xtract from .NEXT session

X-Ray the impact

What if X happened? Well, now there is a tool to help you determine the impact of certain events occurring. X-Ray is a scenario based tool that automates benchmarking and testing. For example, you are able to simulate things like: node failure, impact of a long running snapshot, upgrades, and more. These non-disruptive tests are defined in an easily readable YAML file. You can find more information about it here.

Final Thoughts

While this is not an inclusive list of everything mentioned during .NEXT, hopefully it gives you an idea of the direction that Nutanix has charted for itself. It is clear to me that Nutanix is building a cloud driven ecosystem around its core HCI offering. The company cannot survive on HCI alone, knows that, and is smartly building on top of that platform to extend it simplicity upwards to the cloud.

 

 

 

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