Features, Insight, Interviews

“We aim to deliver new and modern Kubernetes orchestrated applications”

Lee Caswell, SVP of Products and Solutions Marketing at Nutanix, gave an overview of their latest plans including providing cloud-enabled services to partners amongst other envisaged programs at Next 2024 in Barcelona. 

Let’s start by covering the basics as they relate to our recent key announcements. If we take the top five areas that CIOs are increasing their investments in, we must start thinking about application monetisation. For us that means developing new and modern Kubernetes orchestrated applications. Recently we acquired a company called D2IQ and we like to think of this process as containers-at-large-scale but within distributed and different developer environments. This is important, because companies have standardised on Kubernetes but not on which developer environment to use. In light of this we try and position ourselves as the preferred partner of choice for many different organisations such as Red Hat and Open Shift to name a few. Our strategy is to give the customers the choice of developer environment which extends to features such as open databases and LLMs (Large Language Model). In short, we provide enterprise resilience and choice where you need it. 

On the AI side of things, we’re announcing a new relationship with Nvidia to better support the latest containerised Nvidia microservices or NIM for short. Effectively, this is a bring your own LLM service due to the fact that LLMs are being developed very fast in the public cloud and we need to ensure that you have access. In the case of Nvidia these are performance optimised LLMs, which could either be open source or proprietary. In a similar vein, we are announcing a partnership with HuggingFace who also owns a large number of LLM models to better help customers develop their application of choice supported by our API (Application Programming Interface) models. Ultimately these models will help accelerate the time to deployment for GenAI and AI applications required by the customer.      

Next up is cloud platforms as we are beginning to extend across the public cloud thanks to our relationships with Microsoft Azure and AWS. Here we can now confirm a new expansion to our Project Beacon vision, a project that demonstrates how we can run our storage stack on public and private cloud hypervisors. For the very first time, we will be showcasing how a cloud-native AOS can run directly on EKS, meaning it is containerised and can run on cloud-native infrastructure.  

In terms of data analytics, we are enabling some new high-performance platforms and with regards to cybersecurity, it is now possible to extend our value to server-based, software defined architecture. Users are now able to get to remediated security positions quickly thanks to a single-click upgrade across all the elements of the stack.  

According to a Gartner report, 30% of VMWare customers will leave between now and 2028, which of course equals a lot of unaffiliated customers moving in the market today. We need to be prepared to anticipate this mass customer shift.  

In terms of increasing Nutanix adoption we are aiming to help customers move to us from Broadcom or VMWare with minimal overall friction. We’re adapting to allow customers to access Nutanix products and software on their existing hardware to make the change as painless and cost-effective as possible. We are working with Cisco to support compute-only B and X series ready nodes now that they are a partner reselling Nutanix products. This also aligns with some channel promotions we are running to encourage customers to switch over. These include the fast-track path offered by Launch Pad or the Surge Program which improves the profitability of our partners up to 20% if they can offer net new customers to Nutanix. 

On the modernise front, we have some new enterprise features for AHV. One of them is called Multi-Sight and it helps with DORA compliance so that you can have synchronous replication across two sites and asynchronous replication to a third site. These enterprise features are required for the financial services industry as you must have three geographically separate copies of data. Most customers have a low latency link between a DR site, but they often don’t have a third site which we can now add natively for them using AHV. We also offer a secure snapshot service which is where two separate parties are required to authenticate any changes for a better regulated environment. The Nutanix Kubernetes platform is now the first product out of our D2IQ acquisition, which takes large scale container management tailored to your choice of development environment. With our new management interface, we can now investigate live readings relevant to power consumption across a cluster. In the past we took such readings via an estimator tool using typical hardware against typical three tier environments, now you can see live power consumption based on actual usage. We’re also announcing a partnership with EDB, a company that provides enterprise support for the Postgres open-source database. We’ve certified this partnership against the Nutanix database product allowing customers to manage open-source environments at large-scale with the assistance of an enterprise support partner. Our GPT in a box service is a simplified way to have a choice of LLMs in addition to the latest GPUs enabled in our system. We have another feature called live migration performance, which is the ability to move applications 80% faster across the nodes inside of a cluster.    

The last element alongside adoption and modernisation is the key pillar of innovation. Initiatives such as Project Beacon are a part of this as it allows us to extend our value to cloud-native users by being flexible with the use of hypervisors. GPT in a box 2.0 now offers full enterprise support, role-based access controls and user support all to make sure that their new Generative AI applications are enterprise ready. Combining this with the previously mentioned NIM will result in an overall quicker business deployment model for customers. We are also announcing support for 30 TB micron all-in DME devices, this in turn provides the customer with large capacity file storage for AI applications. This is essential for both running and storing complex AI models with all the relevant PPI data on a private domain via consolidated architecture. This partner network will help ensure that the enterprise can get started without a team of data scientists being needed. All these varied pillars will help to ensure that customer priorities are met be they consolidation, on-prem containers, skills, AI, storage or future-proofed sustainability.      

Image Credit: Nutanix

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