Nutanix builds doorway to multiple compute and object storage services
On the path to becoming an enterprise hybrid cloud provider and gateway
.NEXT Nutanix has a one click, one OS, any cloud concept with new services to virtualise compute and object storage across multiple clouds – both on-premises and public ones.
This assumes that on-premises IT is running public cloud style, of course. The company's view is that almost everything is being digitised, and that should include public clouds. In other words, an abstraction layer of software virtualises and provides access to, and mobility between, the underlying physical or virtual resources. There would be a centralised control plane to run this dispersed system and that's Nutanix.
Nutanix has introduced three developer-oriented services for its Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) – Acropolis Object Storage Service, Acropolis Compute Cloud (AC2) and Nutanix App Marketplace services.
Acropolis Object Storage Service
The Object Storage Service has an S3-compatible API interface and will be built into Nutanix's Enterprise Cloud OS. In other words, Nutanix is adding object storage to AHV.
It is intended to provide an on-demand object storage facility to collect, store and manage billions of objects in a single namespace for applications like archiving. The public cloud consumption model will be used.
Nutanix says this will provide a foundation for a multi-cloud storage facility with lifecycle management of data objects and tiering across clouds.
Acropolis Compute Cloud
AC2 will be part of the Enterprise Cloud OS and support compute-only nodes in Nutanix-powered deployments. It is intended for use in CPU-intensive applications, such as distributed analytics workloads, frontend web services, Citrix XenApp deployments and in-memory analytics.
Nutanix says IT managers will be able to deliver compute as a consumable, scale-up, scale-down resource to application development teams.
Nutanix App Marketplace
App Marketplace services are being added to Calm, Nutanux's multi-cloud application automation and orchestration facility. Apps can be defined via standards-based blueprints and then published to a marketplace. App teams can then use them in their developments.
There will be pre-integrated and validated blueprints for infrastructure and developer tools, such as Kubernetes, Hadoop, MySQL, Jenkins and Puppet.
What we see happening in the future is that, at run-time, the developed code then uses whatever (S3-accessed) object storage service and compute services are available, be it AHV's own, or VMware, Amazon, Azure, Google compute, and Cloudian, Amazon S3 or some other S3-accessed object storage.
At Nutanix's .NEXT conference in Nice, CEO Dheeraj Pandey said: "Cloud is not a physical destination; it can be digitised too... Cloud is a highly digitised datacentre." He likes the idea of invisible infrastructure and consumer-grade simplicity.
By using a software abstraction layer you can provide access to, and mobility between, many instantiations of what you have abstracted, be it physical servers, physical storage or public cloud services. This avoids lock-in and provides flexibility in how you consume services.
The upcoming AHV v5.5 release will include Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS), a technology for virtual desktop (VDI) deployments, and support for virtual Graphics Processing Units.
That will help Nutanix AHV customers accelerate the rendering of graphics in high-resolution medical imaging, 3D geospatial application and the like.
Nutanix's Enterprise Cloud OS software will support Skylake CPUs used in Nutanix-branded appliances, server-based platforms from OEM partners Dell EMC and Lenovo, and qualified servers from HPE and Cisco.
These features are under development, and the qualification of Xeon Skylake servers sold by HPE and Cisco is under way. Pricing details will be announced later. ®
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