Nutanix’s origins are in the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) market, a market it dominated for years as it was the first company to pioneer the technology. In the most recent Gartner Magic Quadrant Report, Dell EMC bumped Nutanix from its top spot to second place.
HCI is the data center architecture that combines storage, compute, and networking behind a hypervisor. Relying on software-defined networking (SDN) to create virtualization, HCI is one of the most sought technologies in the software industry today as it deploys faster than traditional data centers, is scalable, and offers a more cost-effective approach. HCI establishes cloud computing, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), and remote office/branch office (ROBO) computing.
Nutanix HCI and Future Plans
Despite being knocked from its primary position of HCI vendors, Nutanix is ramping up its HCI products and partnerships. In April of 2018, the company announced a collaboration with Cyxtera to deliver on-demand HCI, which “allows colocation customers to provision services on demand or via a web console and run distributed environments within and across Cyxtera data centers.”
In addition to on-demand HCI, Nutanix is also shifting gears to a software-centric business model, meaning the company is relying less on its physical hardware merchandise. This beeline for software-defined only products reinforces the company’s mantra of “simplicity.”
A focus on cloud, particularly on the multi-cloud, is demonstrated with a relatively new offering, the Beam. The Nutanix Beam is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product that bridges the private and public clouds and offers multi-cloud governance. Currently, the company promotes its multi-cloud offering that relies on the Nutanix HCI product.
Further chasing simplicity and a software-centric business model, the company introduced what it calls the Nutanix Era, with an anticipated release date in the second half of 2018. The Era entails “a suite of software which automates and simplifies database management, bringing one-click simplicity and invisible operations to database provisioning and lifecycle management (LCM).” This product allows for recovery from points in time, one-click database management, and one-click database clone and refresh.
While the company is actively pursuing SDN products, it’s noticeable that it still relies on HCI to deliver those new offerings and that HCI remains an essential offering. HCI continues to generate profit for the company, which is why, as a hardware product, HCI is the exception to the company’s software-centric mindset.