“What about running all of Nutanix inside Azure,” said CEO Dheeraj Pandey during his opening keynote. “That’s the big deal … to take hybrid cloud infrastructure to the next level.”
The new Microsoft partnership comes about a month after Nutanix landed a similar service with Amazon Web Services (AWS). At that time, a Nutanix executive told SDxCentral that hybrid cloud partnerships with Azure and Google Cloud were also in the works.
Nutanix Clusters on Azure
As part of the new Nutanix-Microsoft partnership, Nutanix will offer Nutanix Clusters on Azure, which extends the HCI vendor’s software stack to Microsoft Azure public cloud and allows customers to deploy and manage Azure instances from Nutanix’s management interface. It will also include Nutanix-ready nodes on Azure to support Nutanix Clusters and related cloud services.
While Nutanix Clusters on AWS lets customers use existing AWS credits to pay for their AWS infrastructure, which will then run Nutanix Clusters, Nutanix Clusters on Azure works slightly different. With this service, customers can use their existing Azure credits to buy Nutanix software, and Nutanix customers can port their existing term licenses to Nutanix Clusters on Azure or get on-demand consumption of Nutanix software through the Azure Marketplace.
Nutanix will also integrate with Azure Arc, which allows customers to manage virtual machines (VMs), containers, and data services on Nutanix HCI, either running in on-premises data enters or in Azure, through the Azure Arc control plane. This allows customers to extend Azure services such as container management and security to their Nutanix environments.
Karbon Platform Services
Nutanix also announced Karbon Platform Services, a Kubernetes-based, multi-cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) with automated system-managed security. It’s a managed service that runs on-premises, in the public cloud, and at the edge, and it allows developers to build and run cloud native applications while decoupling applications from the underlying infrastructure. It also provides IT operations teams with a consistent application lifecycle management and security framework.
Karbon Platform Services builds on the Kubernetes lifecycle management capabilities initially introduced with Karbon as an integrated component of the Nutanix HCI software. This new product brings automated, system-managed security, and multi-tenancy to run microservices-based applications across multiple cloud infrastructures. Karbon Platform Services is available now.
Nutanix HCI Updates
In addition to the Kubernetes updates, and its Microsoft partnership, Nutanix rolled out new HCI capabilities that the vendor says will improve performance by up to 50% and also support a zero-trust environment among other updates.
The vendor says the 50% faster performance comes from updated storage technologies including NVMe-based solid-state drives (SSDs) and Intel Optane SSDs. These enable lower latency, which then provides faster performance for input-output intensive workloads such as databases and large-scale health care applications. This also improves VM density, which lowers cost of ownership for applications, Nutanix says.
Nutanix also announced a new HCI technology called Blockstore, which self-manages storage and, the vendor says, is more efficient than traditional file systems. In addition, Nutanix HCI software adds a support storage performance development kit (SPDK), currently available to customers as a technology preview. SPDK is an open source library developed by Intel that enables applications to access NVMe capacity directly, thus avoiding any operating system or kernel-level overhead to drive even faster workload performance.
For zero-trust security, Nutanix announced Flow Security Central, a centralized software-as-a-service (SaaS) product that provides compliance monitoring, network visibility, and security operations across both Nutanix-powered private clouds and public cloud environments.
Zero-trust networking allows companies set granular policy controls and then monitor and update those controls in real-time. In addition to providing visibility and centralized security policy management across their Nutanix deployments, Security Central also generates recommendations to bring environments into compliance and secure cloud networks and applications.
Other zero-trust security capabilities under development include: extensions to Nutanix’s native key manager and data encryption to deliver a simplified and secure environment for edge and remote office/branch office (ROBO) deployments; and AHV support for Microsoft’s Virtualization-based Security (VBS) and Credential Guard that helps protect Windows VDI desktops against sophisticated memory attacks.
Nutanix also announced new security certifications, including updated FIPS 140-2 certificates, the government’s acceptance of all Common Criteria evaluation work, as well as the completion of testing for a listing on the DoDIN Approved Products List (APL).
Nutanix Flow Updates
Nutanix Flow, which is the vendor’s SDN, is also undergoing a makeover. The vendor said it is integrating the virtual networking capabilities into its HCI software stack. This will use virtual private cloud (VPC) constructs and simplify SDNs that connect applications running in private data centers and in public clouds.
This new VPC technology is a result of the company’s multi-year investment in Nutanix Xi Cloud, which powers Nutanix’s cloud-based solutions. Integrated with the company’s AHV virtualization, it will provide customers with expanded options to connect their multiple clouds, incorporate advanced networking features, and support DevOps teams through agile networking that facilitates automated provisioning of new applications into multiple environments.