Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey said hybrid cloud is the future for his company. And it’s clearly necessary for Nutanix to compete against VMware, which has its own growing cloud stack. But even though the company plans to announce new cloud services at its .NEXT Europe conference today, it won’t say when these new products, which include object storage, compute, and integrated application management services, will be available.
Nevertheless, Nutanix is providing some details on its new offerings that will likely be available sometime in 2018.
Object storage manages data as objects, as opposed to files or blocks, and is typically used in the cloud.
Nutanix plans to build object storage into its Enterprise Cloud operating system (OS) software. It says the service will provide an Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3-compatible application program interface (API) — essentially providing the same public cloud storage service in a private cloud environment, said Greg Smith, VP of product marketing at Nutanix.
“Nutanix customers can develop and run applications in Nutanix Enterprise Cloud in the same way that they do in AWS, and start to use the same object-based storage with an S3 compatible interface,” Smith said. “It’s providing the same public cloud services but in a private cloud context. Customers can evolve to a multi-cloud strategy and manage those clouds in a holistic way with the same services, same management interface, and same principles.”
The new service would also mean Nutanix can provide file, block, and object storage, which is the preferred storage option for big data, analytics, large-scale Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and other emerging applications that use unstructured data.
Nutanix also plans to add a new capability for delivering CPU-intensive applications, such as distributed analytics workloads, large-scale front-end Web services, Citrix XenApp hybrid cloud deployments, and in-memory analytics. This additional compute service, Acropolis Compute Cloud (AC2), will also be included in Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud OS.
“Application development teams can consume just compute for those workloads that are very CPU-intensive,” Smith said. “It’s about making the cloud turn toward the developers to be a resource for the developers — not just the infrastructure manager.”
The company is not announcing a release date for either of these two new cloud services, but Smith said, “come the beginning of next year, we’ll be able to share more.”
Nutanix plans to add the third new service, App Marketplace, to Calm, the company’s multi-cloud management and orchestration tool. Nutanix first announced Calm, along with Xi, its public cloud service that will allow customers to move on-premise workloads to Google’s public cloud, at its .NEXT US conference in June.
Calm is slated for general availability by the end of this year. Xi is on track for a 2018 launch, Smith said.
App Marketplace will allow developers to define new and existing applications via standards-based blueprints, and then publish apps to a marketplace, the company claims. Calm will also provide pre-integrated and validated blueprints that streamline the adoption of key infrastructure and developer tools, such as Kubernetes, Hadoop, MySQL, Jenkins, and Puppet.
Application teams will be able to use these blueprints to more easily develop and deploy new workloads into multiple cloud environments, Smith said.
“Application development teams require two things,” he said. “One: how can they quickly get the tools they need to develop cloud-native applications. And two: once they develop the application, how can they publish it and get it in production quickly. The Nutanix App Marketplace hopefully solves both.”
The big picture here is that “Nutanix is evolving well beyond just the industry’s most popular hyperconverged infrastructure vendor and emerging as a full-fledged cloud stack,” Smith said.
When asked how these new cloud services, along with the company’s soon-to-be-released hybrid-cloud tools, stack up against VMware’s offerings, Smith said he doesn’t want to single out any specific vendor. But his response still sounds like a slight dig at VMware.
“We help our customers modernize their entire data center so they don’t have to, for example, purchase and license virtualization software and manage it as a separate silo. We have a real advantage of bringing a full-cloud stack to our customers so they don’t have to piecemeal a solution together including virtualization.”