Nutanix has as edge platform, code-named Sherlock, in the works. It’s also working to “meld containers and virtual machines into one world,” said CEO Dheeraj Pandey in an interview with SDxCentral after the company’s third-quarter fiscal 2018 earnings call.
On the earnings side, the company reported a loss of 21 cents per share as it transitions to a software-centric business model and stops selling hardware devices. Analysts had expected a quarterly loss of 13 cents per share, and the company’s stock fell about 5 percent late Thursday after the earnings report.
It did post slightly better-than-expected revenue of $289.4 million, growing 41 percent year over year. Pandey attributed the revenue growth to software and services sales. “In this quarter, our top four deals were in all in excess of $5 million each and three of those deals were software only,” he said on the call with investors, adding that he expects Nutanix to reach its goal of $3 billion in software billings in fiscal 2021.
Sherlock at the Edge
Pandey provided details about Sherlock in an interview after the conference call.
“It’s a cloud-based PaaS [platform-as-a-service] stack that also runs on the edge and provides a message-bus like abstraction of event-driven applications,” he said. The platform will allow companies to manage Internet of Things (IoT) devices and massive amounts of data more quickly at the network edge. “It’s really hard to move all the data to a large cloud data center because the network is the enemy,” he said. “You do want to bring it to the edge.”
Sherlock will target IoT use cases and verticals including retail, manufacturing, health care, and oil and gas. “If there’s a large company with distributed applications, you need a fog-computing mentality for that,” Pandey said.
He wouldn’t give an expected release date for the new PaaS product, which will be the company’s second. It announced Era, its first, earlier this month at its annual .NEXT conference.
The initial Era release, slated for the second half of the year, will provide copy data management services. It will initially support Oracle and Postgres database engines, with planned support for SQL and MySQL databases.
Flow provides microsegmentation, network automation, and visualization capabilities. When asked what customers tell him about the new SDN tool, Pandey said, “one thing we definitely hear a lot about it is that it’s so simple.”
Hybridizing Containers and VMs
Making things simple was the company’s goal when it pioneered hyperconverged infrastructure almost a decade ago. Simplicity remains “our mantra for everything,” Pandey said. “Can we democratize microsegmentation, and not have people pay millions of dollars to enjoy the benefits of microsegmentation? And it’s way simpler. It’s based on categories. You can just go and assign VMs — and in the future containers — to categories and you will get really automatic microsegmentation.”
This also plays into Pandsey’s goal to “hybridize containers and VMs.”
“Applications won’t be completely containers or stay completely virtualized machines forever,” he explained. “You will absolutely see the state list tiers of the application being containerized but the database tiers will still be stateful and therefore virtualized. We’ve done a lot of hard work to make sure Nutanix Calm is a place you can hybridize containers and VMs.”
Calm provides application automation and lifecycle management across public clouds and Nutanix-powered private clouds.
Prism is Nutanix’s infrastructure management and automation software. Currently, it supports VMs. But Pandey said the company’s working on container support in Prism, too.
“We’re really trying to blur the lines between container and VMs — we just call them categories,” he said. “We want Flow to do microsegmentation and network visibility for both containers and VMs. And we want Prism to be about containers and VMs.”