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Nutanix NEXTConf Heavy On News, But Google, Veeam Deals Get The Buzz

Nutanix NEXT

NUTANIX NEXTConf — This week’s Nutanix NEXTConf at the Gaylord Convention Center in suburban Washington, D.C., was heavy on announcements.

Nutanix’s vision is a hyperconverged, single-OS, multi-cloud infrastructure built on a mix of hardware, managed from one console via its Prism software. If the hypervisor of choice is Nutanix’s AHS, all the better, and in fact, Rajiv Mirani, SVP of engineering, told us that Acropolis has made strides in taking market share from VMware ESX, though he didn’t present any hard statistics or case studies. Many of the show’s announcements are aimed at increasing AHV adoption.

Nutanix Stage

Roughly 4,000 people attended this week’s Nutanix NEXT in Washington, D.C.

The conference was sold out, with about 4,000 total attendees, up from some 2,500 at last year’s NEXTConf event in Las Vegas.

The news getting the most buzz from attendees we spoke with is an alliance with Google Cloud to enable a unified, full-stack cloud infrastructure. Google Cloud SVP Diane Greene took the stage on Wednesday to explain exactly what that partnership – which brought Nutanix a tidy 7 percent stock price bump – will entail. Highlights include a single control plane for migrating applications between GCP and Nutanix cloud environments and native support for Kubernetes in Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud OS, easing deployment and management of containerized applications in Nutanix shops.

The two companies will also collaborate on the Internet of Things. GCP customers can use Nutanix as an “intelligent edge” for IoT applications using TensorFlow for processing.

These initiatives are underpinned by the announced-but-not-yet-available Calm automation and life-cycle management software, based on Nutanix’s 2016 acquisition of Calm.io, and Xi Cloud Services, which the company says will deliver a “turnkey cloud service built from the same infrastructure stack with the same tooling and SLAs as the core Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform.”

While the Xi service is promising for Nutanix’s channel, it’s not due for release until the first quarter of 2018, said Mirani. And, its success will depend on AHV adoption. Calm is due by year’s end.

Software, Cloud Vision

Sunil Potti, Nutanix SVP of engineering, led the Thursday keynote lineup.

Nutanix's Potti

Nutanix’s Sunil Potti makes a point with Dilbert on stage at Nutanix NEXT.

“We’re ensuring that the software form factor is first and foremost,” said Potti, insisting that a single OS that powers a variety of architectures while delivering an excellent experience is possible.

“We refuse to acknowledge that you need 15 different products for 15 different use cases,” he said. “You can deliver the same operating system regardless of the workload — any workload, any form factor, in an open way.”

In a veiled shot at VMware, Potti says the hypervisor layer is now the bottleneck — and announced one-click migration of ESX to AHV, along with native encryption, advanced disaster recovery with one-click failover and 15-second IPOs, and automated database migration and network segmentation.

John White, VP of product strategy at cloud and data-center-infrastructure-as-a-service-provider Expedient and a speaker at Channel Partners Evolution, was impressed with the keynote but says …

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