Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and … now Nutanix Xi Cloud Services?!

Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have staked their claims as the Big 3 as providers of enterprise cloud services with their respective AWS, Cloud, and Azure offerings. Enter Nutanix. It has from Day 1 sought to emulate AWS with its on-premise cloud offering. But with the announcements made at its .NEXT conference last week in New Orleans, companies can look for Nutanix to deliver cloud services both on- and off-premise that should fundamentally change how enterprises view Nutanix going forward.

There is a little dispute that Amazon AWS is the unquestioned leader in cloud services with Microsoft, Google, and IBM possessing viable offerings in this space. Yet where each of these providers still tend to fall short is in addressing enterprise needs to help them maintain a hybrid cloud environment for the foreseeable future.

Clearly most enterprises want to incorporate public cloud offerings into their overall corporate data center design and, by Nutanix’s own admission, the adoption of the public cloud is only beginning in North America. But already there is evidence from early adopters of the cloud that the costs associated with maintaining all their applications with public cloud providers outweighs the benefits. However, these same enterprises are hesitant to bring these applications back on-premise because they like, and I daresay have even become addicted, to the ease of managing applications and data that the cloud provides them.

This is where Nutanix at its recent .NEXT conference made a strong case for becoming the next cloud solution on which enterprises should place their bets. Three technologies it announced during this conference particularly stood out to me as evidence that Nutanix is doing more than bringing another robust cloud offering to market but it is addressing this nagging enterprise concern for the need to deploy a cloud solution that they can manage in the same way on-premise and off. Consider:

1. Beam takes the mystery out of where all the money and data in the cloud has gone. A story I repeatedly hear is how complicated billing statements are from AWS and how easy it is for these costs to exceed corporate budgets. Another story I often hear is that it is so easy for corporate employees to get started in the cloud that they can easily run afoul of corporate governance. These stories, true or not, likely impede broader cloud adoption by many companies.

This is where Beam sheds some light on the picture. For those companies already using the cloud, Beam provides enterprises visibility into the cloud to address both the cost and data governance concerns. Since Beam is a separate, standalone product available from Nutanix, organizations can quickly gain visibility into how much money they are spending on the cloud, who is spending it, and perform audits to ensure compliance with HIPAA, ISO, PCI-DSS, CIS, NiST and SOC-2. For those organizations not already using the cloud, they can implement Beam in conjunction with their adoption of cloud services to monitor and manage their usage of it. Beam currently supports AWS and Azure with support for Nutanix Xi and Google Cloud in the works.

2. Xi brings together the management of on- and off-premise clouds without compromise. Make no mistake – Nutanix’s recently announced Xi cloud services offering is not yet on the same standing as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud. In fact, by Nutanix’s own admission Xi is “still coming” as an offering. That said, Nutanix addresses this lingering concern that persists among enterprise users – they want the same type of cloud experience on-premise and off. The Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) accompanied with its forthcoming Xi cloud services offering stand poised to deliver that giving companies the flexibility to seamlessly (relatively speaking) move applications and data between on- and off-premise locations without changing how they are managed.

3. Netsil is “listen” spelled backwards which is just one more reason to pay attention to this technology. Every administrators’ worst nightmare is when they must troubleshoot an issue in the cloud. In today’s highly virtualized, inter-dependent application world, identifying the root cause of a Sev 1 problem can make even the most ardent supporter of virtualized, serverless compute environments long the “simpler” days of standalone servers.

Thank God solutions such as Netsil are now available. Netsil tackles this thorny issue of microsegmentation – how applications within containers, virtual machines, and physical machines communicate, interact and wall off one another – by identifying their respective dependencies on each other. This helps to take much of the guesswork out of troubleshooting these environment as well as gives enterprises more confidence to deploy multiple applications on fewer hosts. While Netsil is “still coming” per Nutanix, this type of technology is one that enterprises should find almost a necessity to both maximize their use of resources in the cloud while giving them peace of mind that they have tools at their disposal to help them solve the challenges that will inevitably arise.

Jerome M. Wendt

About Jerome M. Wendt

President & Founder of DCIG, LLC Jerome Wendt is the President and Founder of DCIG, LLC., an independent storage analyst and consulting firm. Mr. Wendt founded the company in November 2007.

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