Nutanix Teams Up with Google Cloud to Fuse Cloud Environments for Enterprise Apps

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I am thrilled to see two great innovation engines, Google and Nutanix, come together. While Nutanix has proven its success in creating the next-gen web-scale infrastructure that spans data centers from HQ to a remote office/branch office, all the way to the edge, Google has proven its success in creating large state-of-the-art computing infrastructures that excel at machine learning and data and analytics at scale.

The fabric of both these infrastructures have many commonalities. They are both built with common software-defined open-source components, and fundamental tenets of modern distributed computing such as: always-on with no single point of failure, fail-in-place with distributed everything, optimizing operations with machine learning, API-first and all intelligence in software.

When such a common fabric comes together, it creates a very powerful computing paradigm with the following properties:

Unified Management

It’s critical to have a unified management of all the applications running in a dispersed cloud including those running on the edge. Nutanix Calm will provide for intentful representation and operations of applications across a dispersed multi-cloud environment. This includes a single pane of glass for managing both private and public cloud. Traditional and cloud-native applications can be provisioned into Google Cloud Platform (GCP) or on-premise Nutanix cloud environments with a single click, and migrated between the two cloud environments using Nutanix Xi Cloud Services.

Common fabric

As applications evolve from traditional Mode 1 to modern Mode 2, the common fabric should lend itself gracefully to a hybrid world where both can co-exist on the same infrastructure. With Google and Nutanix announcing Xi Cloud Services coming on GCP this will soon be available. With this partnership, applications will find no change in their environment and the lift-and-shift to the public cloud will be invisible to the customer both in terms of user experience and tooling around APIs. Nutanix Xi Cloud services within GCP will be a multi-tenant instantiation of the same Enterprise Cloud OS that has delighted so many enterprises on-premises.

At the same time, Nutanix is enabling a 1-click deployment of Google’s Kubernetes fabric into the private Nutanix-based cloud. With Nutanix Calm, the user can launch, upgrade, troubleshoot, and scale the Kubernetes platform for modern Mode 2 apps on the Nutanix infrastructure. Atop this platform, users can launch Kubernetes pods or Helm charts with a single command leveraging persistent storage capabilities provided by Nutanix Acropolis in the underlying infrastructure. This brings notions of 1-click lifecycle, auto-tiering, data locality, QoS, encryption, replication factor, snapshots, backups, DR, etc. invisibly to Mode 2 apps on-premises.

Intelligent Edge

Once the fabric in the central cloud and the dispersed cloud is materially the same, the central cloud is enabled to push some of its work to the dispersed cloud via learned models and packaged apps. Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS has demonstrated the ability to run at any-scale, by providing support for large deployments of thousands of nodes to 2-node and 1-node deployments for remote deployments from ROBO to on oil rigs, barges, and remote outposts. In fact, Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS can be embedded even in an Intel NUC on a drone.

This unique capability of extending a single compute fabric all the way from the edge to the central Data-center, places Nutanix in a unique position in the industry. Joining hands with Google to extend technologies like TensorFlow allow machine learning, insights from training models, edge-processing and analytics to be seamlessly pushed to the edge on top of Nutanix’s ubiquitous Cloud OS. The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS itself has been at the forefront of bringing efficiency to data center operations via MapReduce, data tiering, ILM, versioning, etc. since its inception. While these transactional capabilities are now table stakes, the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS has been evolving to bring ML and analytics (with X-Fit) and aims to bring TensorFlow for cognitive needs in large data-centers.

As we witness this interesting revolution in cloud computing, there is still a lot to learn from how things have evolved in the past. As Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr rightfully observed in 1849, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”— “the more things change, the more they stay the same”.

Note: The integration of Nutanix Calm and Google Cloud Platform will be available in the first quarter of calendar year 2018. Other features are in development, and pricing details will be announced closer to the release.

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