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2 Surprises from Nutanix .NEXT 2023

In this DCIG blog and video report from the Nutanix .NEXT 2023 conference, I share two surprising things I learned about the robust storage capabilities of Nutanix Unified Storage and Nutanix’s strategic shift from hyperconverged infrastructure with its implied on-premises focus to becoming an enterprise hybrid multicloud infrastructure provider.

I share a third bonus takeaway in the blog on how embracing a forward-thinking mindset can lead to significant savings on IT infrastructure while reducing energy use and carbon emissions.

#1 – Nutanix Unified Storage is a Robust Storage Offering

First, I was surprised at just how robust the storage offering is from Nutanix. It has, of course, always offered block storage and, for some time, has offered Nutanix files. But now Nutanix is branding its storage as Nutanix Unified Storage, providing both file and S3 object storage capabilities, which appear to be quite mature. 

Nutanix has multiple customers with over 10 petabytes of object storage in their clusters. I spoke to one gentleman who is a service provider selling object storage as a backup target and active storage for cloud workloads. He said his rollout of object storage with Nutanix Unified Files has been essentially flawless, and he has scaled out and managed that environment very simply.

In other conversations, I learned that many Nutanix clients are building Nutanix storage clusters as replacements for their legacy enterprise filers.

#2 – Nutanix Strategic Shift to Enterprise Hybrid Multicloud Provider

Nutanix is best known as an innovator in hyper-converged infrastructure. But now they want to position themselves as enabling simple hybrid multicloud environments. Presenters observed that most of us accidentally ended up with hybrid and multicloud environments. But now Nutanix is addressing the need to bring a unified set of controls and enterprise-level management to those environments in a way that is Nutanix simple. “Run Everywhere” is the slogan Nutanix used at the conference to describe its hybrid multicloud capabilities.

Nutanix announced some new capabilities and tools that enable this transition, including what it calls Nutanix Central. Nutanix Central is a SaaS offering providing a single console to manage Nutanix environments deployed on-prem or public cloud.

So those are my takeaways: more robust storage capabilities than I realized, and a focus on strategically moving forward as a hybrid multicloud provider.

Bonus takeaway not in the video…

#3 – Nutanix Reduces Costs and Enhances Sustainability

While at Nutanix NEXT, I attended a panel discussion on Cost and Sustainability. The panelists acknowledged that the IT industry is early in its sustainability journey, but they had helpful insights.

Nutanix claims it can typically show a 40% TCO savings over 5 years and a 75% reduction in energy use/carbon emissions compared to traditional 3-tier architectures.

These reductions are due mainly to two factors: 

      • The inefficiency of traditional 3-tier architectures, including the upfront overbuying that traditional architectures require.

      • The workload consolidation that HCI enables. 

    One panelist shared an example of a new client that had built a new data center to gain more data center space and evaluated their tech stack afterward as part of moving into the new data center. The client discovered it could consolidate its IT infrastructure into just a few racks of Nutanix gear. They did not need to build a data center; they just needed to replace their legacy 3-tier infrastructure with Nutanix HCI. 

    Another panelist said that as part of accounting standards in the EU, companies must now assess and report climate-based risks to the business. They shared several examples of climate risks for business resiliency due to data centers designed to operate within a specific temperature range.

    In one case, two London data centers experienced shutdowns due to overheating during a sweltering day. The unexpected shutdowns took a hospital offline for two months because one data center was the hospital’s primary data center, and the other was the hospital’s secondary data center. 

    It is Time to Rethink the Legacy Mindset

    It is time for IT leaders is to rethink their legacy mindset. Embracing a forward-thinking mindset can help organizations achieve significant IT infrastructure savings while reducing energy use and carbon emissions. Doing so also enables them to steer clear of costly mistakes and pave the way for success.

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